When BHP and Billiton merged in 2001, Billiton’s chief financial officer, Mick Davis, found himself without a job, or at least one he wanted. So, in October that year, he joined Xstrata, a small Swiss-based company with a few zinc and ferroalloys assets in Australia and South Africa, as chief executive officer (CEO). The company was majority owned by Swiss trader Glencore International. In March 2002, Xstrata listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and raised $1.4 billion of new equity. With these funds, it purchased Glencore’s thermal coal assets, again mostly in Australia and South Africa.
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