Glencore raises stakes with Qatar Holding for control of Xstrata

22 August 2012

World’s largest commodities company says it may abandon $30bn takeover bid for mining firm

Commodities giant Glencore has raised the stakes in its stand-off with Qatar Holding for control of mining firm Xstrata, threatening to abandon the deal unless a compromise is reached.

The Swiss-headquartered company is attempting to raise its current interest in the company from 34 per cent to 51 per cent in a deal worth about $30bn.

However, Qatar Holding, which currently maintains a 12 per cent stake in Xstrata, has demanded an improvement on terms offered by Glencore of 2.8 shares for every Xstrata share. The sovereign wealth fund’s managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, has threatened to partner other minority shareholders to scuttle the deal unless the offer is raised to 3.25 Glencore shares for every Xstrata share.

In an interview with the UK’s Financial Times, Glencore chief executive officer Ivan Glasberg expressed frustration over the position taken by Qatar Holding and indicated Glencore may walk away from the deal in the short term.

“We cannot understand the position of the Qataris, asking for more than the 2.8 ratio,” Glasenberg said. “We have seen nothing coming out of recent results that supports this. In fact, we have seen quite the opposite. It is not a must-do deal. It is a deal that we believe makes sense.

“It is unlikely anyone else will … buy Xstrata, so it still sits there for us to look at some time in the future. It is not as if it is a deal we are going to lose, or that is running away from us.”

UAE-based Aabar Investments is the largest investor in Glencore.

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