Glencore and Xstrata race to repair merger

Marion Dakers
GLENCORE’S merger with Xstrata was on the rocks yesterday as the two firms scrambled to appease irate investors over the share ratio and pay packages linked to the deal.

Mining group Xstrata yesterday rewrote its bonus rules for top staff to try and soothe shareholder anger at a £173m payday if the deal goes through, following a day of crunch talks between the boards, advisers and investors.

Chief executive Mick Davis and 72 other staff will now get their bonuses entirely in shares, and only if they find an extra $300m in cost savings within two years.

But the firms are yet to improve the offer of 2.8 new shares for every Xstrata share, and Glencore last night postponed a meeting scheduled for next month to approve the all-share merger on fears of a shareholder revolt.

Qatar Investment Authority rattled the firms late on Tuesday by breaking cover to demand 3.25 shares per Xstrata share. Representatives from the sovereign wealth fund held talks in London yesterday aimed at keeping the merger alive.