Published On: Sat, Mar 7th, 2015

Mining Boss Mick Davis Staging Big Comeback, Committed to UK Jewish Life

X2 Resources—with debt leverage included—could be buying assets valued at $15 to $20 billion.

Mick Davis

Mick Davis, who presided over the sale of Xstrata, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, to Glencore for $50 billion, has accumulated $5.6 billion in investments—from Noble Group, TPG Capital, sovereign wealth and pension fund investors—to turn his other company, X2 Resources, into an operating company this year, the Globe and Mail reported.

X2 Resources—with debt leverage included—could be buying assets valued at $15 to $20 billion.

Davis, 57, has a rare gift for timing his acquisitions. As CEO of Xstrata, from 2001 to 2013, he spent an estimated $35 billion on 40 acquisitions, including Canadian nickel producer Falconbridge, which he bought in 2006 for around $19 billion.

In an interview in London earlier this week, Davis said 2015 is going to be the “sweet spot” for investments, seeing as mining companies are coming down in value.

According to the Globe and Mail, these companies are not eager to sell, preferring to wait for their values to go up later in the year. As Davis put it: “One said no, others did not say yes or no, but I expect to do a deal this year.”

Mick Davis was born in South Africa and educated at the Theodor Herzl School in Port Elizabeth, where he was friends with Ivan Glasenberg, Chief Executive of Glencore. He lives in London with his wife Barbara and their three children, Sarah, Ronit and Eitan.

Davis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council of the United Kingdom, the umbrella body of the largest Jewish Charities and Institutions in the UK, responsible for the strategic imperatives of UK Jewry. He is Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Commission of the United Kingdom. He is also Chairman of UJIA,  and on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and a member of the World Executive of Keren Hayesod – Israel United Appeal.

 

Back in January, Davis published an op-ed in The Telegraph, titled British Jews are thriving, but our concerns are serious, following the terrorist attacks on Jews in Paris. He believes the safety of British Jews is better than that of their brethren across the channel:

France is learning the lessons of a tragedy that we should seek to avoid. But the response from the Jewish community, the police and the Government here is reassuring.

Moreover, British Jewish life is thriving, in our faith schools, synagogues, community centers and festivals. Research by Pew and the Anti-Defamation League reveals a Jewish community in Britain more integrated than any in Europe, and, despite some worrying trends, a less anti-Semitic society than its continental neighbors.

Jews will continue to exist here, to live and to thrive as a community, proud of our identity and committed to playing an active, positive role in British life. To do so alongside our fellow British citizens, Christian and Muslim, Hindu and Sikh, atheist and agnostic, is our act of defiance in the face of those who would do us harm.

It’s the kind of optimism that’s helped along nicely by an annual salary of $5.5 million. We wish Mr. Davis all the best.

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