Glencore Faces Dilemma Over Spinoff of Lucrative Coal Business

Glencore Faces Dilemma Over Spinoff of Lucrative Coal Business

Cristina Ramirez
2 min read

Glencore Faces Dilemma as Shareholders Resist Coal Business Spinoff

Glencore, the leading thermal coal shipper globally, is at a crossroads as major shareholders, including Ivan Glasenberg and BlackRock, advocate for retaining the profitable coal business instead of pursuing a proposed spinoff. The coal unit, responsible for generating $26 billion in EBITDA in 2022-2023, contributes over half of Glencore's earnings, positioning it as a significant profit driver. Shareholders view the coal business as a vital cash cow, sparking debates about the potential merits of a spinoff despite environmental concerns. The proposed spinoff was part of CEO Gary Nagle's strategic shift, aimed at unlocking higher valuations for Glencore's separate coal and metals businesses through the listing of a new company in New York. However, the firm's major shareholders are in favor of the coal business, signaling a wider discourse on the role of coal in the energy transition and its financial impact.

Key Takeaways

  • Glencore's top shareholders, including Ivan Glasenberg and BlackRock, favor keeping the profitable coal business over a proposed spinoff.
  • The coal unit's $26 billion EBITDA in 2022-2023 positions it as a significant profit driver for Glencore.
  • Shareholders perceive the coal business as a crucial cash cow, casting doubt on the advantages of pursuing a spinoff in light of climate concerns.
  • Resistance from key shareholders could impact Glencore's strategic pivot, potentially impacting CEO Gary Nagle's plan to list a new company in New York.
  • The controversy underscores the complexities of managing coal assets amid global energy and financial shifts.


The resistance from Glencore's shareholders, particularly Ivan Glasenberg and BlackRock, poses challenges to CEO Gary Nagle's strategic shift by advocating for the retention of the lucrative coal business, which contributes to over half of Glencore's earnings. This resistance has the potential to derail Nagle's intentions to create a separate entity in New York, housing the coal and metals businesses. The coal unit's impressive $26 billion EBITDA generation in 2022-2023 underscores its significance as a cash cow for stakeholders.

This dilemma presents broader implications, shedding light on the intricacies of managing coal assets during global energy transitions and financial evolutions. Financial institutions like BlackRock are encountering heightened scrutiny regarding their involvement in coal-related initiatives amidst environmental concerns. The future trajectory will depend on the equilibrium companies strike between profitability and sustainability while addressing climate change.

Did You Know?

  • EBITDA: EBITDA, an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, serves as a metric for a company's overall financial performance and is utilized as an indicator of its operating profitability.
  • Spinoff: A spinoff is a corporate action where a company divests a portion of its business into a new, independent entity. Shareholders of the parent company receive shares in the newly established entity based on their holdings in the parent company.
  • Ivan Glasenberg: Ivan Glasenberg, a South African businessman, and former CEO of Glencore, a multinational commodity trading and mining company, presently serves as Glencore's Chief Executive Officer. Glasenberg wields substantial influence in the global commodities market and plays a pivotal role in the company's strategic decisions.

You May Also Like

This article is submitted by our user under the News Submission Rules and Guidelines. The cover photo is computer generated art for illustrative purposes only; not indicative of factual content. If you believe this article infringes upon copyright rights, please do not hesitate to report it by sending an email to us. Your vigilance and cooperation are invaluable in helping us maintain a respectful and legally compliant community.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest in enterprise business and tech with exclusive peeks at our new offerings