Xstrata delays vote on merger with Glencore

THE GO-AHEAD for the $53bn (£34bn) mega-merger between mining giant Xstrata and commodities trader Glencore has been delayed until at least September, it was announced yesterday.

Investors had originally been scheduled to vote on the deal today but Xstrata changed the schedule last week in an attempt to smooth relations with shareholders who are fighting for better terms and reduced payouts to directors.

The vote will now go ahead on 7 September, providing Glencore six weeks to come to an agreement with rebel shareholders including Qatar Holding, who own 11 per cent of Xstrata.

The investment vehicle, an arm of the gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is resolute in its demand for 3.25 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share held, up from the 2.8 shares that is currently on offer.

Under takeover rules Glencore has until two weeks before the vote – 24 August – to alter the terms of its offer.

Although the shareholder vote has been delayed Xstrata continues to press ahead with clearing regulatory hurdles and still expects the deal to complete in the fourth quarter.

The firm has already been forced to alter proposals that would have seen top managers at the mining group given substantial retention deals that were not linked to performance. 

Glencore also announced yesterday that it will buy the it would buy Vale’s European manganese ferroalloys business for $160m, moving into the production of a key steelmaking ingredient.