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The billionaire would-be oleh

May 6, 2011 04:08

CEO of the Swiss-based commodity trading firm Glencore is about to become one of world’s hundred richest men as his company goes public.

The Jerusalem Post

Ivan Glasenberg 311 . (photo credit:Bloomberg)

A little more than a quarter of a century after he nearly became an Israeli citizen in order to compete in the Olympics, the CEO of the Swiss-based commodity trading firm Glencore is about to become one of world’s hundred richest men as his company goes public.

Ivan Glasenberg will probably be one of the least-known billionaires in the world when the sale is completed, but his lack of fame might not have been the case had he achieved his dream of competing in speed walking at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which he revealed in a rare interview with the magazine of his alma mater, the University of Southern California’s Marshall Business School.

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Glasenberg’s South Africa was banned from the Games because of apartheid, and the Johannesburg native, who is Jewish, sought to obtain Israeli citizenship – but failed to complete his application in time.

Now, thanks to information published in a prospectus on Wednesday, it has been revealed that the initial public offering for Glencore may value Glasenberg’s stake at $9.6 billion. That figure could be a record, given that it tops Stephen Schwarzman’s $8.8b. stake in Blackstone when the private-equity firm went public in June 2007. Glasenberg will own 16 percent of the commodity trading firm after the sale, which may give the firm a market capitalization of about $61b. and will turn at least four more senior executives into billionaires.

Glencore is a corporate successor to Marc Rich & Co, which was led by the controversial commodities trader of the same name – who, incidentally, holds Israeli citizenship.

Rich sold the company to management in 1994, a few years before receiving a pardon from US President Bill Clinton after he was indicted on federal charges of making illegal oil deals with Iran.

According to the company, Glasenberg joined Glencore in April 1984 – just three months before the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics – and has been CEO since January 2002. He first worked in the coal/coke commodity department for three years as a marketer and then in Australia for a further two years as head of the division responsible for sourcing and marketing coal in the Asia-Pacific region.

After stints in Hong Kong and Beijing, Glasenberg relocated to Glencore’s headquarters in the small Swiss village of Baar, where he became director of the coal/coke commodity department before assuming the top job.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.
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