Sept. 7 - Commodities trader Glencore has raised its offer for miner Xstrata in a dramatic 11th-hour effort to rescue one of the sector's largest ever deals from collapse after opposition from rival shareholder Qatar. Hayley Platt reports.
Commodities giant Glencore has raised its offer for Anglo Swiss miner Xstrata in a bid to salvage a deal that had looked doomed to fail.. The original offer of 2.8 was rejected by Qatar Holdings who have a 12 percent stake in Xstrata. Glencore has now sweetened its offer to 3.05 in new shares for every Xstrata share, but that's still below the 3.25 the Qatari shareholders want. Kevin Allison is the global resources columnist for Reuters Breaking Views. SOUNDBITE: Kevin Allison, Reuters Breaking Views Columnist, saying (English): "Both companies have a reason to want to get together. Glencore already owns 35 percent of Xstrata and relies on a lot of its output to put through its trading system, so there is good industrial logic to the deal." If the merger goes ahead, it will be Glencore's chief executive officer, Ivan Glasenberg who will head the new group and not Xstrata boss Mick Davis as originally planned. Mega mining mergers of this sort are rare. Most of the big mining deals were done more than 10 years ago before China's economy really took off. Since then commodity prices have soared. SOUNDBITE: Kevin Allison, Reuters Breaking Views Columnist, saying (English): "Commodity prices are still very high. Resources have become seemingly scarcer and I think the politics around mining have become very difficult. A Glenstra deal if it happens would show that mega mining M&A is still possible but I think that the difficulty that both sides are having getting this deal across the line shows it's still a very difficult thing to pull off in today's more hot and highly charged commodity environment." The deal is far from complete. Shareholders still have to vote and a date for that is yet to be set. The news sent shares in Xstrata soaring by 8 percent - while at one point, Glencore's price plunged by more than 6 percent. Hayley Platt, Reuters.