Swiss commodities giant Glencore will acquire a majority stake in the steelmaking coal business of Canadian miner Teck Resources, the companies said yesterday, capping fraught negotiations between the groups.
Glencore said it would take a 77% effective interest in Elk Valley Resources for $6.93 billion (R131bn) in cash.
Japan’s Nippon Steel Corporation will acquire a 20% minority stake in Elk Valley, while South Korea's Posco will grab 3%.
Vancouver-based Teck Resources put the value of its steelmaking coal business at $9bn
Glencore’s coal strategy has attracted fierce criticism, including from some shareholders.
Shareholders want it to separate coal from the rest of its activities in order to concentrate on its other resources, such as copper and cobalt, which are in high demand for the energy transition.
Glencore, which is active in commodity trading and mining, had unveiled a nearly $23bn offer in early April for Teck Resources to combine their coal and metals activities and then spin them off.
The offer disrupted Teck’s plan to spin off its coal business and sparked political scrutiny in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg in April that the takeover bid would go through a “rigorous process”, while opposition Conservatives urged the government to block the deal over concerns about jobs.
The Canadian firm twice rejected the offer, with the support of its two largest shareholders.
Teck had warned that the proposed merger would bring Glencore’s thermal coal into its business.
Used to produce electricity and heat, thermal coal is attracting much more criticism because of its climate-heating carbon dioxide emissions.
In June, Glencore made an alternative offer to buy Elk Valley Resources.
‘Benefits for Canada’
Glencore said the transaction was expected to close in the third quarter of 2024, pending the approval of Canadian regulators.
“We are pleased to have reached agreement to acquire Teck’s steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley,” Glencore chief executive Gary Nagle said.
“These world-class assets and the experienced people that operate them are expected to meaningfully complement our existing thermal and steelmaking coal production located in Australia, Colombia and South Africa.”
Teck Resources, one of the top mining companies in Canada, wants to focus on metals such as copper that are key to the global energy transition.
“This transaction will be a catalyst to re-focus Teck as a Canadian-based critical minerals champion with an extensive portfolio of copper growth projects, unlocking the full value potential of the company,” Teck CEO Jonathan Price said.
“Glencore has made strong commitments that will create new benefits for Canada and the Elk Valley and ensure responsible stewardship of the steelmaking coal operations for the long term,” he said.