Business News

Glencore plans to axe debt by $10B, issue $2.5B in shares

Neil Hume and David Sheppard

Glencore announced a $10 billion packet of debt reduction measures on Monday as the miner and commodity trader tries to reassure investors who have seen their shares more than half this year.

The company said it will issue up to $2.5 billion of new share, cut dividends, sell assets and look to offload a stake in its agricultural business to a third party.

London-listed Glencore also announced plans to suspend production at its copper operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in a move it says will take 400,000 tonnes out of the market and potentially provide a boost to metals prices.

A logo sits on a sign outside Glencore Xstrata Plc's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland.
Gianluca Colla | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The package of measures outlined on Monday will reduce Glencore's net debt to around $20 billion from around $30 billion.

The miner's rating outlook was downgraded to negative by Standard & Poor's last week. Its shares have fallen by more than its rivals this year due to concerns about its debt load. It was originally planning a reduction to $27 billion by the end of 2016.

More from the Financial Times:
Any takers for half-price Glencore shares?
Glencore warned to cut debt pile
Commodities storm rocks the boat for Glencore's ambitiouscaptain

Glencore said the equity issuance would be supported by several members of the senior management team, including chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, who currently owns 8 per cent of the company.

Glencore's Hong Kong listed shares were suspended ahead of the announcement.