Friday, 1 July 2011
CASE 318 - Glencore
Glencore International plc is a multinational mining and commodities trading company headquartered in Baar, Switzerland and with its registered office in Saint Helier, Jersey. It is the world's largest commodities trading company, with a 2010 global market share of 60 per cent in the internationally tradeable zinc market, 50 per cent in the internationally tradeable copper market, 9 per cent in the internationally tradeable grain market and 3 per cent in the internationally tradeable oil market.
Glencore has production facilities around the world and supplies metals, minerals, crude oil, oil products, coal, natural gas and agricultural products to international customers in the automotive, power generation, steel production and food processing industries. The company was formed in 1974 by a management buyout of Marc Rich & Co AG.
Glencore listed on the London Stock Exchange in May 2011 and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Early historyAccording to an Australian Public Radio report, "Glencore's history reads like a spy novel". The company was founded as Marc Rich & Co. AG in 1974 by now-billionaire commodity trader Marc Rich, who was charged with tax evasion and illegal business dealings with Iran in the U.S., but pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001. He was never brought before U.S. justice before his pardoning, therefore there was never a verdict on these charges.
In 1993 commodity trading and marketing company Trafigura was "split off from" Marc Rich's group of companies. As physical commodities traders, along with Trafigura, Glencore's main rivals in 2011 were identified as Vitol and Cargill, amongst a number of others.
In 1993 and 1994, after failing to control the zinc market, losing $172 million and nearly bankrupting the company, Rich was forced to sell his majority share in Marc Rich & Co. AG back to the company. The enterprise, renamed Glencore, is now owned and run by Marc Rich's secretive inner-circle of "lieutenants", including founding Glencore CEO Willy Strothotte and present CEO Ivan Glasenberg.