Fresh delays hit Glencore-Xstrata $76 billion mega merger

The closing of Glencore’s (LON:GLEN) $76 billion mega merger with diversified miner Xstrata (LON:XTA) has been delayed again due to continuing regulatory issues in China, the Swiss commodities trader's biggest buyer of materials.

The latest deadline extension – the fifth since the deal was first announced in 2011– highlights the complexity of the merger, which requires approval from a number of international regulators.

In a stock exchange filing Glencore said the new closing date for the merger between the companies has been extended to May 2, subject to the Chinese authorities final decision, the completion of the Xstrata court process and Glencore giving effect to the commitments required by the European Commission.

Both Glencore and Xstrata are already selling minerals in China and the merged company expects to raise its market share in the country.

"Glencore believes that it has had constructive discussions with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (Mofcom) and that these discussions are now in their final stages," the company said in the document.

"However, Glencore does not expect to receive the final decision from Mofcom in time for the merger to be completed by 16 April 2013,” it added.

The deal to create a mining behemoth with a market capitalization of over  $76 billion has faced several twists and turns since first revealed. Its terms and conditions were renegotiated and restructured in 2012 to win the support of several shareholders, which ended up causing delays to the first deadline at the end of October.

Last month the companies extended the deadline for closing their long-awaited merger for the fourth time from March 15 to April 16, despite having received the approval from the European and South African authorities.

If successful the combined new giant will have revenues in excess of $140 billion with as much as 80% of sales earned from mining.