Glencore billionaires set for £400m payout despite posting loss

Glencore billionaires set for £400m payout despite steering the mining giant to its first loss in four years

The ‘billionaire boys’ club’ behind Glencore is set to rake in more than £400million in dividends – despite the mining giant posting its first loss in four years.

Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, division bosses Daniel Mate and Tor Peterson, and former executives Telis Mistakidis and Alex Beard will reap the $0.20 (15p) per share dividend announced yesterday, which is worth about £2billion overall.

The tycoons, who collectively own more than a fifth of shares, are part of a close-knit group who became fantastically wealthy when Glencore floated in 2011.

Windfall: Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg and other executives, will reap the $0.20 (15p) per share dividend announced yesterday, which is worth about £2bn overall

The latest dividend announcment came as Glasenberg said he was speeding up preparations to promote a new generation of executives this year.

The 63-year-old is expected to stand down and hand over the reins by 2023.

Glasenberg, Glencore’s second-biggest shareholder with a 9 per cent stake, will receive about £181.8million through the proposed dividend.

Mate, who owns 3.39 per cent, will get £68.1million and Mistakidis, who has 3.36 per cent, will get £67.5million. At the same time Peterson and Beard, who both own 2.5 per cent, will get about £50million each.

Finance chief Steven Kalmin, who became a multi-millionaire through the Glencore float, also stands to get £12million.

The enormous payouts come after the FTSE 100 firm reported an annual loss of about £310million for 2019, its first since 2015.

That was down from a profit of £2.6billion a year previously.

Glencore largely blamed the drop on £2.2billion of charges it had taken over the closure of a copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the end of licences for its Chad oil operations and weak coal demand in Europe.

After the announcement, shares fell 4.5 per cent, or 10.55p to 226.1p.

The company’s stock has already fallen by 25 per cent in the past year as it battles bribery and corruption probes by UK and US authorities over its operations in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

That has increased pressure for a major leadership shake-up, after Glasenberg had previously said he would go within five years of 2018.

Yesterday the chief executive, who has been in charge since 2002, said he wanted a ‘smooth generation change’.

Of the original ‘billionaire boys’ club’, the long-time copper boss Mistakidis retired in 2018, while head of oil Beard stepped down last June.

Mate remains boss of the zinc division, however, and Peterson is still in charge of coal, with Glasenberg noting they were ‘the last of the older crew left’.

Glasenberg added: ‘Once the new generation is in place and ready to move on, then it will also be the time for me to move on.’

Asked if he could step down this year, he replied: ‘Don’t know. Let’s first get these other management changes in place and we’ll move from there.’


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