Qatar Holdings will vote for Glencore’s USD32b bid for Xstrata

17 Nov 2012

(MENAFN) Qatar Holdings finally gave its blessings to commodity trader Glencore’s sweetened USD32 billion takeover of Swiss miner Xstrata, setting the deal to go ahead, Reuters reported.

Qatar, an unexpected kingmaker in Glencore’s bid for Xstrata, said it would vote for two key resolutions on the takeover, which is aimed at creating a mining and trading powerhouse.

Qatar’s support for the deal, first announced in February, came after its surprise opposition to terms in June and brought Glencore within weeks of sealing its long-running pursuit of Xstrata.

Through a series of votes, Xstrata investors will be able to express their views on the management retention plan without endangering the merger.

Xstrata has said the retention plan was necessary to the success of the merger because it will ensure key managers stay on to oversee the shift into a phase of significant volume growth at the company’s mining projects.

Qatar was reluctant to become involved in the debate over management pay, which has been raging in Britain since the so-called shareholder spring.

The Gulf state has built up a stake of more than 12 per cent in Xstrata, making it the second largest shareholder in the Swiss miner.

Qatar’s abstention on the retention plan, which offers more than 70 top executives a total of almost USD222 million will be an embarrassment for Xstrata, which until last month insisted that the takeover be tied to the pay deal.

The vote, scheduled for November 20, comes after Glencore bowed to investor pressure with a raised bid in September. Glencore increased its offer to 3.05 new shares for every Xstrata share, from an earlier bid of 2.8 per share.

EU competition regulators will give their verdict on the tie-up two days after the Xstrata shareholder vote.

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