Its stock still wobbly after hitting an all-time low on Monday, commodity giant Glencore fought this week to reassure investors, employees and counterparties, with mixed results.
Conscious of a self-imposed goal to reduce its net debt to $24 billion from the $30 billion it reported in late June, Glencore officials are scrambling to complete the sale of their metal-byproducts business at two mines in Peru, said people familiar with the transaction, with an eye toward announcing a $1 billion-plus deal in October.
At a director's meeting scheduled for October 9, Glencore executives also plan to discuss their upcoming production report and whether to reveal more details to investors than usual, these people added.
Also high on the company's to-do list is a partial sale of its agricultural business, a deal Glencore's management hopes will bring in multiple billions of dollars, said a person familiar with the matter. That transaction, which would ideally involve one or more sovereign wealth funds buying between 20 and 30 percent of the grains unit, is in the works but unlikely to close until early next year, this person added.
Taken together, the metal-byproducts business, known as streaming, plus the partial sale of the agricultural unit and other recent measures will amount to a debt reduction over time of at least $10 billion.
A Glencore spokesman declined to comment on status of the various moves.