EU gives Glencore-Xstrata merger thumbs up

The European Commission has cleared the merger between commodities giant Glencore and mining behemoth Xstrata.

The European Commission has cleared the merger between commodities giant Glencore and mining behemoth Xstrata.

However, the blessing for the $31bn deal comes with the caveat that Glencore must terminate an exclusive deal it has with Nyrstar, the world's largest zinc metal producer.

Glencore must also sell its 7.8% stake in that firm to satisfy European concerns that the merged entity would have the ability and incentive to raise zinc metal prices, hitting European industries.

The two companies still require regulatory approvals in both China and South Africa.

Joaquin Almunia, the Commission's vice-president in charge of competition policy, said the merger would bring together two major global players in key commodities.

"The proposed remedy ensures that competition in the European zinc metal market is preserved, so that European customers such as steel galvanisers and car makers can continue to produce valuable consumer goods at low prices and good quality," he said.

In September, after months of negotiations, Glencore won over shareholders with its offer of 3.05 shares for each Xstrata share.

Xstrata is the world's fifth largest metals and mining group, while Glencore is the world's leading commodities trader.

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