EXCLUSIVE-UPDATE 1-EU regulators want Glencore concessions on Xstrata deal -source

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:07am EDT

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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS Oct 29 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators have told trader Glencore to offer concessions in its zinc operations to ease concerns about its planned $33 billion buy of miner Xstrata, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The European Commission, which handles competition regulation in the 27-member European Union, is currently examining the deal and has set a Nov. 8 deadline for its decision.

The EU competition watchdog told Glencore about its concerns on Friday and has given the world's largest diversified commodities trader until Tuesday to come up with concessions, the source said.

Neither Glencore nor Xstrata had any comment.

The European Commission was not immediately available for comment.

Analysts say the combined company could have 50 percent of the European market for zinc, making that a logical area of concern for regulators. Zinc is used in metal alloys, especially in applications where it can prevent corrosion.

Industry analysts said the most likely concession could be the disposal of Xstrata's San Juan de Nieva refinery in Spain, the largest zinc production unit in the world.

Another option would be for Glencore to review its offtake deal with world No. 1 zinc producer Nyrstar. The deal with the Belgian company was extended last year and is due to expire in 2018. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; additional reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; editing by Rex Merrifield and David Cowell)

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