The world’s biggest commodities trader Glencore is eyeing a £31 billion flotation on the London Stock Exchange, it has been reported.
The Switzerland-based firm has lined up three investment banks to advise it on the move, which would be one of the largest ever FTSE 100 listings, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.
Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are said to be helping Glencore prepare for the flotation, which could come as early as April next year.
It is understood that the group, which was founded by US tycoon Marc Rich and is owned by 485 partners, would sell only a fifth of its shares to raise £6.3 million. It is also said to be planning a secondary registration of shares in Hong Kong.
Glencore trades a wide range of commodities, including oil, coal, gold and foodstuffs, as well as producing commodities through a string of mines that it owns across the globe.
The group holds a one-third stake in miner Xstrata, as well as having a 9% holding in Russian aluminium giant Rusal.
It had sales of £67 billion last year, and it is thought that a successful listing would catapult it into the top 20 biggest FTSE 100 companies.
It is understood that Glencore has decided on the listing as it wants to raise funds to help it expand and to fund takeovers, with speculation that a move for the whole of Xstrata may be in its sights.
But insiders have cautioned that the flotation is not a done deal, and the move could be postponed or pulled altogether if the market conditions are not right.
It was not possible to contact anyone at Glencore to comment.