Takeover Panel puts pressure on Xstrata bid

XSTRATA was yesterday forced to put out a statement clarifying the cost savings that could be achieved through a merger with rival Anglo American, after the Takeover Panel waded into the stand-off between the two miners.<br /><br />The Takeover Panel asked Xstrata to clarify its estimates for cost savings following its failure to rebuff suggestions that synergies at a merged group could be worth triple the $1bn (&pound;608m) Xstrata it originally stated.<br /><br />&ldquo;Xstrata has quantified pre-tax synergies of over $1bn per annum by the third full year following completion of the proposed merger,&rdquo; the company reiterated yesterday. <br /><br />&ldquo;This estimate is the only one that has been reported on by Xstrata and its advisers. Any other published synergy estimate is not endorsed or supported by Xstrata,&rdquo; it added.<br /><br />Last week, Anglo&rsquo;s board &ndash; led by Cynthia Carroll &ndash; turned down a nil-premium merger of equals with Xstrata and its bullish boss Mick Davis. Anglo slammed the proposal&rsquo;s &ldquo;lack of strategic merit,&rdquo; and said the terms of the deal were &ldquo;totally unacceptable&rdquo;. <br /><br />Xstrata put added pressure on Anglo after its initial rejection, by releasing the details of cost savings.