June 23, 2024

Why is “coal guy” Gary Nagle suddenly going out for copper?

Copper mining in the Congo

Glencore plans to ramp up production as global copper prices rise.

(Photo: Reuters)

Zurich It’s a deal intended to fundamentally change Glencore: In his second year as CEO, Gary Nagle has set his sights on acquiring Canadian mining group Teck Resources — and in a second step toward breaking up the merged entity. It is the biggest deal since its merger with mining group Xstrata in 2011.

But it was a turning point for Nagle: the native South African was a “coal boy”: he spent most of his corporate career in the coal business and, as head of the division, took it to the top. Now he can divest Glencore of the coal mines that play a major role in his home country’s energy supply.

Until recently, he always rejected related requests from activist investors. With his about-face, Nagle surprised his own investors and employees.

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