Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg has talked up the company’s potential for further acquisitions, amid the latest uncertainty over Yancoal Australia’s $US2.69 billion ($3.4bn) purchase of Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied business.
Glencore has long harboured interest in the Coal & Allied assets, given the potential synergies with its own coalmines in NSW, but was twice outbid for them by the Chinese-backed Yancoal. The two parties subsequently agreed a separate deal under which Glencore would buy 49 per cent of Coal & Allied’s Hunter Valley operations from Yancoal for $US1.14bn plus a share of royalties.
But Hong Kong-based hedge fund Senrigan Capital Group this week lodged an application with the Takeovers Panel, arguing that the proposed deal would be prejudicial to minority shareholders in ASX-listed Yancoal.
While Mr Glasenberg said he would not comment about the merits of the Takeovers Panel application, he told reporters yesterday that the company would be watching the situation closely.
“We are sitting on the side watching. If it doesn’t go through then we will have to assess the situation,” Mr Glasenberg said. He said the company was “always” looking at potential acquisition opportunities. “We always look opportunistically,” he said.