The fourth Spanish fortune will hold 3.3% of mega merger Glencore-Xstrata

kjhkMADRID | The Spanish newspaper Expansión on Wednesday published that 48- year old Daniel Maté, from Guipuzkoa and with a degree in Law and Economics from the University of Deusto, will become the largest shareholder of the mining and raw materials giant that will result from the biggest merger ever agreed in this sector. Maté now has 6.03% of Glencore, which will become 3.31% of the merged entity, after having purchased a million shares. At market price, those shares are worth €1,858 million (€2,200 million or $3,000 million) something which converts Maté into Spain’s fourth fortune, according to Forbes’ magazine listing.

His wealth is similar to that of Manuel Jové (founder of FADESA) and is second only to that of Amancio Ortega (Zara), Isaak Andik (Mango) and Rosalia Mera. Worldwide, his is the 376th international fortune.

The merger, if it succeeds in allowing annual savings of $500 million, could increase Maté’s fortune if the new group earns more money and improves its value on the market.

Until now, the Spanish government has given signals in favour of the merger. Since Glencore went public in May 2011, Daniel Maté has raised his stake in Glencore by 1.11 million shares, which have a market value of nearly five million of sterling pounds.

Market sources believe that this increase in his position could have resulted from the reinvestment of dividends paid by Glencore, or thanks to some shares delivery program to the directors of the company, in which Maté is the head of copper and other metals trading area. Maté has pledged his vote in favour of the merger in the Glencore shareholders’ meeting and is obliged to not demand a change in the governance of the structure of the combined company during the first two years.

Little is known about Maté’s life: he lives in Switzerland, host country of Glencore’s headquarters. What is known is that his career could have been very different. Daniel Maté’s name is included on a list of people selected in 1987 by the ministry of Defence for training course for officers and non-commissioned officers for the Air Force. However, Maté declined the military training and a year later, in October 1988, joined Glencore (then Marc Rich & Co) in Madrid. His career was meteoric: he went to Switzerland three years later and became head of the zinc, copper and lead trading area in February 2000.

His participation in the shareholding of the company began in 1994 when Glencore executives bought the company from Marc Rich. Other executives from the sector consider him to be friendly and a man who dislikes the ostentation of wealth. He hardly appears in public events, something he will be able to continue doing since it is not expected that he will be a member of the Board of Glencore Xstrata International.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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