Glencore faces renewed pressure from activist investor to hive off coal assets

GLENCORE is facing renewed calls to hive off its coal assets, said Bloomberg News citing a letter from Bluebell Capital Partners, an activist investor which owns a stake in the Swiss-headquartered firm.

A letter from London-based Bluebell Capital Partners to Glencore, seen by Bloomberg News, said: “Due to its coal business, Glencore is not an investible company for investors who place sustainability at the heart of their investment process”.

It added: “A clear separation between carbonised and de-carbonised assets is needed to increase shareholder value and remove the ‘coal discount’, whilst simultaneously ensuring that coal assets will be managed responsibly.” The letter was dated November 8.

Bloomberg News quoted Glencore as saying that it was confident its business model was “… uniquely placed to produce, recycle, and market the materials needed to decarbonise energy whilst reducing our own emissions and delivering value for stakeholders”.

Bluebell has a reputation for questioning company strategy having previously run campaigns against GlaxoSmithKline and Danone SA.

Glencore said previously it would be prepared to sell or spin off its coal business if enough shareholders demanded that it exit. However, its climate transition plan received a 94% approval vote from shareholders in April, said Bloomberg News.

Coal is still a major earner for Glencore and the company is expected to produce bumper full-year earnings after prices hit record levels during the recent energy crunch in China. Glencore has already said it expects to deliver windfall dividends from the coal surge, said the newswire.