This will happen if the Government definitively advances in the nationalization of Vicentin, and to include the Renova project in the assets package of the santafesino group. In these plants in San Lorenzo and Timbúes, where added value is added to the soy bean and biodiesel is produced in the largest and most sophisticated factory in Latin America. The majority of this venture is owned by the Swiss group Glencore, of which BlackRock owns 6%, in addition to its historical world financier. This includes the money for Glencore to lift both the Santa Fe plants, to move forward with the majority share purchase in March of this year. If the Vicentin takeover operation, and hence 25% of Renova, were to take place, the Argentine State would share shares with Larry Fink again. It already does so at YPF, where BlackRock has been a shareholder since before the 2012 renationalisation. It would also add possessions, directly or through partners such as Glencore, in other companies that have to do with the daily economic life of the country such as Telefónica, Coca Cola, Bayer, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Apple, Microsoft, Telefónica or Procter & Gamble (among many others); in addition to holding open or closed listed shares in Mercado Libre, Tenaris, Grupo Galicia, Banco Macro, Telecom, Pampa Energía, TGN, Arcos Dorados and Adecoagro.
The Renova project, where BlackRock (together with the Qatari public bank) is the main capital contributor to Glencore, began in 2006 with the Swiss company and Vicentin sharing 50% of the shares. It started with the idea of producing biodiesel for export to the European Union, where Glencore had access to the oiled market. Over time, the company added the production of flour, oil, lecithin and shell pallet at the Timbúes plant, in addition to glycerin in San Lorenzo. Now, after last year’s Vicentin crisis, Glencore took most of the stock; when buying in December last year 16.67% of the shares of the project due to the already public difficulties of the Argentine group. With this, it controlled 67% of the company, Vicentin maintaining the remaining 33%, but placing itself in a minority shareholder and losing management capacity.
From January of this year, the seizure of dominance by the Swiss moved to reality.
Last March the European group offered to buy that remaining 33% for about $ 325 million, an operation that was rejected by the reconquest judge Fabián Lorenzini, who considered that this value was less than the price of Renova’s assets. He thus unknowingly prevented Vicentin de Renova’s departure, opening the door to the state’s likely partnership with Glencore. For the Government, the alternative of having the multinational in the project is attractive. It is considered within the government that it would launder Vicentin’s takeover operation in the international financial market; Although it bothers to remain as a minority shareholder in Renova, the group’s greatest gem in crisis. It is not yet clear if the idea of having the State as a partner excites Glencore, and its partners; or if the Swiss multinational evaluates alternatives such as offering to buy the majority of the company Renova manages. Or some other judicial action that would open a new case to the ICSID in the country, where the company could resort to the alteration of its plans. It is difficult for Glencore to make this decision, given the wide range of investments it has in the country, and that they depend on a very good relationship with the Government to carry them out.
In Argentina, in addition to the partnership with Vicentin, it maintains rice mills, soybean crushing (General Villegas, Necochea and Daireaux), direct sowing, vegetable oils and mills in Chajarí and Paso de los Libres, in addition to stores in Bahía Blanca, Conquerors and Bonpland. It exports 25% of the rice the country produces and manages the Bajo La Alumbrera mine, a copper, gold and molybdenum deposit that has been mining on the surface at Minera Alumbrera since 1997; in this project it owns 50% of the shares, in partnership with the Canadian companies Goldcorp and Yamana Gold that have 37.5% and 12.5% respectively. It also manages the El Aguilar mines in Jujuy, Agua Rica in Catamarca and El Pachón in San Juan.
BlackRock’s main investment in the country is the possession of government securities, its investment being estimated at about $ 3 billion; of which US $ 2,000 million under international law. Another US $ 1,000 million are bonds launched under local laws, especially the Treasury Bond (BOTE) 2023 and 2026, launched on May 14, 2018, with Luis Caputo as then new head of the rescue of the famous Lebac (to the detriment of the BCRA); an operation that the then “Messi” of the cabinet closed by telephone, moving his personal contacts; placing the debt in the hands of BlackRock and Templeton.
Where it is most important and controversial is the presence of BlackRock in YPF, where I owned 9.77 million shares corresponding to 5.67% of the outstanding shares in the capital markets of Buenos Aires and New York; And it is the second private institutional investor after the Wellington mutual fund. Both entered as shareholders at the time when the government of Néstor Kirchner opened the capital of the company for the entry of the Petersen Group in December 2007.
In total, private companies would hold 17.09% from that process; of which Blackrock would be the most notable, still maintaining his actions after the 2012 renationalisation; This process was even supported by following a general position that the Mexican oil company Pemex would maintain. Both were contrary to the Spanish Repsol, and would put that opposition into practice. Also, and until today, it remained close to the trial that the British vulture fund Burford and the New Yorker Eton Park initiated Argentina for the way in which that nationalization of 2012 was headed, offering themselves as “amicous cureae”. However, in 2014 it was classified as a “vulture fund” by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as it also had shares in the Donneley paper mill that closed its doors that year. It would increase its presence in Argentina again by opening an office in the Catalinas area, appointing staff in a dependency relationship and receiving investment proposals in the real economy.