Shareholders set to approve Glenstrata deal

XSTRATA shareholders are expected to vote through the £56bn mega-merger with Glencore this afternoon, following months of negotiations between the two commodity giants.

Today’s shareholder meetings, the first of which is scheduled for 1pm in Switzerland, come nine months after commodities trader Glencore first approached miner Xstrata.

The two meetings will include four resolutions, thanks to a complicated arrangement allowing shareholders to approve the deal but not the £140m remuneration package for Xstrata staff.

It could cast doubt on Sir John Bond’s future as chairman of the enlarged group, after he backed the retention bonuses.

Stakeholders are widely expected to green-light the deal – sweetened in September to 3.05 new shares for each Xstrata share – but vote against the management incentive arrangements.

After Glencore, Xstrata’s largest shareholder Qatar said last week it would vote in favour of the tie-up, but abstain from voting on the management incentives. A source close to the deal said that given the way the sovereign wealth fund will vote, other shareholders may vote tactically to ensure that the merger is approved.

Even if the merger is approved this afternoon, the deal still has to be approved by European regulators before the deadline on Thursday.

Glencore has offered up antitrust concessions – thought to be zinc arm Nyrstar – in the hope of securing a nod from the EU.