JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Old Xstrata recollections were reignited on Tuesday as former Xstrata CEO Mick Davis announced that his new X2 Resources had garnered another $1-billion to take the incipient mining company towards financial reserves of close on $5-billion.
A number of new investors have taken the X2 total up to $4.8-billion of committed and conditional equity capital, the new company said in a media release.
As discussions with potential investors remain ongoing, committed equity capital firepower of $3.3-billion is available for immediate drawdown, with $1.5-billion conditional.
“We’re currently reviewing a number of opportunities in the metals and mining sector,” said South African-born Davis, who intends leading the experienced X2 team, including long-standing support executive Trevor Reid, to once again acquire and integrate a suite of metals and minerals assets.
Earlier this year, X2 partners, Noble Group Limited and TPG Capital, announced their agreement to invest in the newly established private X2 Resources mining venture, into which Noble and TPG each invested $500-million.
Michael Lawrence (Mick) Davis, who helped to create the Billiton in BHP Billiton, is the former executive director of South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom, and is also remembered as the boy from Theodor Herzl High School, who graduated from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, and who lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg.
Aged 56 and eight months to the day – he was born in Port Elizabeth on February 15, 1958 – Davis still has some way to go, and will probably want to do even more with X2 than he did with Xstrata, which under his watch took a London Stock Exchange (LSE) market capitalisation of $500-million to more than $50-billion in eight years.
Davis spoke in an earlier media release of “this opportune time” and expressed confidence that the new diversified aspirant would be “distinctively” able to capture value.
Xstrata, which developed into a 62 000-employee company with significant South African investments, is now a key part of Glencore under Ivan Glasenberg.
The X2 investment proposition is to leverage the multi-decade track record of the former Xstrata team by acquiring businesses at a favourable time in the cycle, when even blue chip giants are planning to dispose of assets to cope with low commodity prices.
Noble, headed by CEO Yusuf Alireza, is said to bring market intelligence, deal flow, acquisition support and post-acquisition services as X2’s preferred marketer and provider of supply chain management and logistics services.
Private investor TPG, which has Jim Coulter as founding partner, has $55.3-billion of assets under management around the world.
X2 is said to be in ongoing discussion with more potential investors.
Goldman Sachs International has acted as X2’s financial adviser.
Davis’ management style has been outlined to Mining Weekly Online in the past as the conversion of clear vision into action, accompanied by strong self-belief, the establishment of clear lines of accountability and then affording associates the full space to perform.
Growing Xstrata from a small, indebted Swiss company into one of the world’s most significant major diversified mining companies was a major achievement to which can be added the central role Davis played in the merger of BHP and Billiton into the world’s biggest mining company.
He listed Billiton on the LSE with Reid’s help, and helped to re-established London as a centre of mining finance.
One of his formerly expressed hopes is for South Africa to become a centre of mining finance for Africa.