Qatar refuses to rule out new Glencore offer

QATAR Holding, the second-largest shareholder in Xstrata, said yesterday it was yet to decide on the revised offer put forward by Glencore, suggesting the merger may survive.

Commodities giant Glencore laid out its final £36bn offer for miner Xstrata on Monday, after months in a stand-off with Qatar, which demanded an improved merger ratio to 3.25 in June.

Until yesterday, the sovereign wealth fund had been silent on the revised offer.

Glencore’s final offer is 3.05 new shares for each Xstrata share, up from 2.8 previously agreed. It also wants chief executive Ivan Glasenberg to stay as head of the new company, after six months under Xstrata’s Mick Davis.

The revised offer represents a 27 per cent premium to the ratio at which Glencore and Xstrata were trading last week.

Qatar said in a statement yesterday: “Qatar wishes to make clear that it has made no decision yet as to whether or not it would accept the revised proposal.”

It added it will give “careful consideration” to the implications of changed management, the share ratio and the views of Xstrata’s board.

Through aggressive buying in the market since the proposed takeover was announced in February, Qatar has built up a stake of more than 12 percent in Xstrata – a key position in a deal structure that allows just 16.5 per cent of Xstrata shareholders to block any bid.

Xstrata directors have until 24 September to decide whether to put the revised proposal to shareholders.