Sunday, December 17, 2017
Ivan Glasenberg

Ivan Glasenberg

Glencore

AFTER 18 months of back-peddling, Ivan Glasenberg concluded 2016 in a breath-taking return to form by joining 9% shareholder Qatar Investment Authority in a €10.5bn swoop for 19.5% of Russian oil company, Rosneft. Only a week earlier, he had put the finishing touches to Glencore’s balance sheet repair programme dubbed by one analyst as “stunning”. Not only had the group reduced net debt to less than $17bn, but it also set the basis for a resumption of dividend payments: a $1bn payout in two halves during the 2017 financial year and a new distribution policy in 2018 in which a $1bn fixed payout from the marketing division would be supplemented with 25% of free cash from its mining assets. How distant seems the 27% slide in Glencore shares in September, 2015 as short traders preyed on the Swiss group’s groaning net debt of about $25bn. It’s fair to say Glencore is the bellwether mining stock; the maker of manners in an industry which has much to prove following the capital overspend during the supercycle years. The group seems as asset strong as ever and is looking to invest including a possible takeout of shareholders in its Mutanda copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Glasenberg’s silence regarding the deteriorating relationship with South Africa’s Eskom is noteworthy, however.

LIFE OF IVAN

He was born in South Africa and educated at Hyde Park High. He studied accounting at Wits University and obtained his CA after five years as an accountant with Levitt Kirson. After an MBA, he joined the global oil trading firm, Marc Rich & Co, as a marketer in the coal and coke department. The company became Glencore and Glasenberg became CEO in January 2002.

“The assets we have sold do not affect the earnings creation ability of the company.”