Linklaters,Clifford Chance Dig Into $10 Billion Glencore IPO

Linklaters has landed a lead role on Glencore International AG’s mammoth dual listing on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The Swiss commodities trader’s initial public offering is likely to raise a combined total in excess of $10 billion — potentially making it the largest-ever IPO in London and one of the largest in Europe, according to Reuters.

Linklaters is acting as lead counsel for Glencore, with capital markets partner Robert Cleaver advising on the Hong Kong flotation.

According to The New York Times, a Hong Kong listing has particular appeal for commodities businesses due to the sector’s heavy reliance on Chinese investors. Glencore had shifted strategy in this direction during the financial crisis, a BNP Paribas analyst told the paper.

Glencore’s IPO is also part of a trend in which companies that are headquartered and have most of their operations outside Asia are listing in Hong Kong to tap that market’s liquidity. Italian luxury goods line Prada is also planning a Hong Kong IPO.

The Hong Kong listing for Glencore, which the Hong Kong Stock Exchange approved earlier this month, could comprise between $2 billion and $2.5 billion of the company’s global offering, Bloomberg reported in January.

Cleaver is working with London partners Charlie Jacobs, Owen Clay and Patrick Sheil. Sheil is advising on U.S. law aspects of the IPO. Peter Pestalozzi of Zurich law firm Pestalozzi is advising Glencore on Swiss law.

Meanwhile Clifford Chance is advising a syndicate of underwriters comprising Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Credit Suisse. The firm’s partners on the case include Adrian Cartwright, David Lewis and John Connolly in London, with Connolly advising on U.S. securities law. Amy Lo is providing counsel from the firm’s Hong Kong office.

Earlier this month Linklaters provided Hong Kong law advice to Minmetals Resources Ltd., a Hong Kong-based metals trading company, relating to its attempted hostile takeover of Australian-Canadian copper miner Equinox Minerals Ltd.

Minmetals’ offer of $6.5 billion made it the largest unsolicited takeover bid by a Chinese mining company to date.