Glencore Considers Buying Anglo Stake in Colombia Coal Mine

  • Glencore, BHP entitled to buy stake under agreements
  • Any acquisitions mustn't endanger balance sheet: Glasenberg

Glencore Plc may increase its stake in Colombia’s largest coal mine, Cerrejon, if Anglo American Plc carries out recently announced plans to sell its one-third interest.

Both Glencore and joint-owner BHP Billiton Ltd are entitled to buy Anglo’s stake under existing agreements, Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said in a conference call Tuesday. Glencore’s preference would be to share Anglo’s stake with BHP, rather than buy it all, he said.

“Cerrejon is an opportunity,” Glasenberg said. “If we can get it at the right price. It’s something we wouldn’t want to walk away from.”

There are merger and acquisitions opportunities in the market at the moment and Glencore is “looking at everything,” as long as the asset purchases won’t undermine the company’s balance sheet, he said.

Coal is Colombia’s main export, after oil, and is predominantly sold to European power producers. The Andean nation produced 85.5 million metric tons in 2015.

The sale and delivery of coal from Cerrejon in northern Colombia is currently carried out by Coal Marketing Company Ltd., or CMC, based in Dublin. Glencore and BHP “would have to look” at the independent unit if both companies increased their stake in Cerrejon, Glasenberg said.

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