Glencore aims for $11 bln in largest IPO this year

HONG KONG, April 14, 2011 (AFP) - Commodities giant Glencore plans to raise up to $11 billion from listings in London and Hong Kong, in what is set to be the world's biggest initial public offering this year, a report said Thursday.

The move comes as prices for some commodities hit record highs and makes Glencore, the world's biggest commodities trader by revenue, the latest to seek a foothold in Hong Kong's share markets to tap rich Chinese investors.

Glencore, which is based in Baar, Switzerland, will list about 20 percent of its shares in the offering, and expects to sell 2.5-10 percent to Hong Kong retail investors, according to Dow Jones Newswires, quoting a term sheet.

The company is valued at $60 billion.

It will use around $5 billion of the proceeds for capital expenditure over the next three years and around $2.2 billion to increase its stake in Kazakh mining firm Kazzinc Ltd and reducing debt.

Glencore deals in commodities including oil, metals, minerals and agricultural products and employs almost 55,000 people in more than 40 countries.

Founded in 1974 and initially focused on marketing commodities sourced from third parties, the firm has turned into the leading supplier by buying and developing mining, smelting, refining and processing production assets.

Among its major investments is a 34.5 percent stake in Switzerland-based mining giant Xstrata.

The IPO comes as commodity prices sit at highs amid huge demand from Asia, particularly China and India, for resources to power their red-hot economies.

Oil is at two-and-a-half-year peaks, while the prices for iron, copper and aluminium are also riding high.

The listing in London, its primary listing venue, is expected to raise up to $8.8 billion with $2.2 billion from its Hong Kong listing.

However there is a greenshoe option which will allow the firm to raise up to $12.1 billion in the case of strong demand, through an increase in the size of the offering by 10 percent.

Glencore will set an indicative price range for the shares around May 4. Hong Kong stock exchange declined comment. The firm is expected to announce details of the listing later Thursday.

The IPO would be the world's largest this year, doubling the $5.5 billion listing in Singapore of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Port Holdings Trust last month.

However, it will be much smaller than the $22.1 billion raised by Agricultural Bank of China last year in a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Glencore posted a 40.7 percent jump in 2010 net profit to $3.8 billion, reflecting strong demand for metals and minerals.

Revenues were up 36.3 percent at $145 billion, said the group.

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