Oct. 1 - Mining group Xstrata has given its long-awaited blessing to a revised $33 billion bid from trader Glencore, bowing to investor pressure by changing the deal to ensure a payment plan to keep its top managers does not sink the tie-up. Hayley Platt reports.
Mining group Xstrata has given its long-awaited blessing to a revised $33 billion bid from trader Glencore, bowing to investor pressure by changing the deal to ensure a payment plan to keep its top managers does not sink the tie-up. It's almost eight months since the mining deal of the decade was first announced and Xstrata has finally given its blessing to the proposed mega-merger with Glencore. The sticking point had been a lucrative retention deal for managers - 70 top executives will share 226 million dollars if they stay. Many investors weren't impressed so Xstrata has overcome the problem by splitting the vote. Shareholders can agree the merger without approving the retention package. Rupert Nathan is a mining analyst at Fat Prophets. SOUNDBITE: Rupert Nathan, mining analyst and CFO of Fat Prophets, saying (English): "I feel we're moving towards an end game but there could be more twists and turns ahead." Last month Glencore improved its bid to $33 billion. But insisted their own CEO Ivan Glasenberg take the helm not Xstrata's Mick Davis - he will now leave. The new agreement will help but there are no guarantees as the Qatari's hold a key 12 percent stake in Xstrata. SOUNDBITE: Rupert Nathan, mining analyst and CFO of Fat Prophets, saying (English): "It's going to rest with the Qatari's ultimately and whether they believe this deal is good for Xstrata as well as Glencore. Given the fact that they are a sovereign wealth fund and by nature long term investors, I think are looking not just two or three weeks or months ahead but more to the point five, ten years ahead and taking a longer term view the price that's being offered now could look considerably cheap." The mega merger would create the world's biggest metals and commodities firm. Some, like Michael Ingram from BGC Partners, aren't convinced it makes sense long term. SOUNDBITE: Michael Ingram, Market Analyst, BGC Partners, saying (English): "They generally deliver of the cost synergies but very little on the revenue synergies and also remember OK this is something of a victory for Xstrata shareholders because they could have sold back in February when this deal was first announced and made more money than they are going to cash in right now." Shares in both Glencore and Xstrata rose on the news. Hayley Platt, Reuters.