* Glencore inks new Kazzinc deal
* Previous aim had been to raise stake in Kazzinc to 93 pct
* HK shares suspended ahead of Kazzinc announcement
By Clara Ferreira-Marques
MOSCOW, Sept 25 Trader Glencore
has trimmed its ambitions to control Kazakh zinc
producer Kazzinc, announcing a revised cash and shares agreement
worth up to $1.4 billion, less than half the original deal, to
raise its stake to just under 70 percent.
The revised move - at a time when Glencore is in the final
throes to take over miner Xstrata - values Kazzinc at a
lower price and will involve less cash. That could reassure
credit ratings agencies which had pointed to the purchase as one
where the acquisitive trader, with a rating of two notches above
junk, could cut back on cash strain.
Glencore, the world's largest diversified commodities
trader, said at the time of its listing in May last year that it
would raise its 50.7 percent stake in Kazzinc, one of Glencore's
most substantial subsidiaries, to 93 percent, spending $3.2
billion including $2.2 billion in cash.
The plan then had been to boost control of the producer but
also to eventually list the gold assets, which together amount
to the largest gold producer in Kazakhstan, separately. A
listing, however, is unlikely to be imminent in the current
market environment, analysts said, easing pressure on Glencore
to raise its stake above 90 percent.
In a statement released overnight, which prompted a
temporary halt in trading of Glencore's Hong Kong shares,
Glencore said the total price tag, including additional cash or
shares, will not exceed $1.4 billion.
The new deal will include at least 176 million shares, to be
issued to the seller, Verny Capital, the trader said.
"The deal looks to be a 'cash light' way of creeping up its
ownership in Kazzinc, using only $400 million in cash, depending
on stock value," analysts at Liberum said, adding the revised
offer valued Kazzinc at $5.4 billion, compared to an original
valuation of $6.57 billion.
Glencore, whose London shares were 1.8 percent lower at 1222
GMT, had said in August it was reviewing the structure of the
Kazzinc deal, in part, analysts have said, because a spin-off of
the subsidiary's gold assets was unlikely.
The deal should complete this year.
Glencore is in the final stage of its long-awaited deal to
buy the shares in miner Xstrata it does not already own.
Britain's takeover regulator has given Xstrata until Oct. 1 to
decide whether to accept a revised offer from Glencore.
Glencore, already Xstrata's biggest shareholder, raised its
offer to 3.05 shares for every Xstrata share held from a
previous offer of 2.8 shares, in a last-ditch attempt to rescue
the deal after Xstrata's second-biggest investor, Qatar Holding,
demanded improved terms in June.
While improving the offer, Glencore also tweaked the terms
of the deal, allowing Glencore's chief executive Ivan Glasenberg
to take over the helm of the combined business from Xstrata
chief Mick Davis within six months.