Glencore Xstrata was formed following the merger of Glencore International plc and Xstrata plc, which was completed in May 2013. The merger brought together two highly complementary businesses with a long-standing relationship. Glencore and Xstrata already worked together for more than ten years through a number of marketing agreements including a ferroalloys marketing agent agreement (since 1997), coal advisory agreement (since 2002) and exclusive nickel and cobalt marketing agreement (since 2007).

The histories of Glencore and Xstrata have been inextricably linked since March 2002 when Xstrata acquired Australian and South African coal assets of Glencore, the largest shareholder in Xstrata at the time. At the same time Xstrata listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Glencore’s business commenced in 1974 as Marc Rich + Co AG and initially focused on the physical marketing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and minerals and crude oil, and shortly thereafter expanded into oil products. In 1981, Glencore acquired an established Dutch grain trading company, which created the basis for its Agricultural Products business segment, and later Glencore added coal to its Energy Products business segment. Starting in 1987, Glencore developed from a purely commodity marketing company into a diversified natural resources group through key acquisitions in mining, smelting, refining and processing in the three principal business segments. In 1994, the founder of Glencore sold his stake by way of a management buyout. The shares of Glencore International plc listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges in May 2011.

The roots of Xstrata date back to 1926 when Swiss infrastructure company Südelektra AG was established. Beginning in 1990, the company (which was renamed Xstrata AG) built a portfolio of businesses operating in the natural resources sector. On 25 March 2002, Xstrata plc was created through an initial public offering on the London and Swiss stock exchanges and at the same time it acquired Glencore’s coal assets. The successful acquisition and integration of MIM in 2003 and of Falconbridge in 2006 were key elements in the transformation of Xstrata.