• U.K. association concerned investors overlooked at share sale
  • Glencore sold new stock as part of debt-reduction plan

Glencore Plc executives met with a U.K. investor group concerned that shareholders of the commodity trader and miner were overlooked when it sold $2.5 billion of new stock earlier this month.

The Investment Association, which manages 5.5 trillion pounds ($8.3 trillion) for clients globally, wants to ensure existing shareholders have the right to first refusal in any future equity sales, spokesman Alex Hogan said by phone. He declined to elaborate on what was discussed at the meeting on Tuesday. Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul confirmed the meeting took place and declined to comment further.

Glencore, which has lost almost $50 billion in market value this year amid an investor exodus, sold shares two weeks ago as part of a wider $10 billion debt-reduction plan designed to protect its credit rating. Other than stating that 22 percent of the new stock was sold to senior managers and executives, the company didn’t disclose details of who bought the shares, which represented 9.9 percent of its existing capital.

"We are engaging with Glencore to make sure we understand each other’s perspectives," Daniel Godfrey, chief executive officer of the Investment Association, said by e-mail.

The company has been hurt by a China-led slowdown that’s hit prices for commodities, heightening investor concern about its debt. Billionaire Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg’s debt-reduction program also includes selling assets and halting the dividend.

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