Miner Xstrata said 7 September was the new date for a shareholder vote on its planned $26bn takeover by Glencore, after changes to retention deals for executives forced it to push back a meeting initially planned for this week.
The delay will give commodities trader Glencore, Xstrata's largest shareholder, weeks more to hammer out a deal over the terms of the takeover with rival shareholder Qatar Holding, which is demanding better terms - easing speculation that the current deadlock between the two could put the tie-up on ice.
Xstrata shareholders had been due to meet on 12 July, but the miner said last month it would adjust retention packages for its executives in response to shareholder outcry over the mostly cash deals, forcing the vote to be postponed.
While the 7 September date is still moveable, sources familiar with the matter and analysts said it marked a deadline of sorts and a goal for the talks between Glencore and Qatar, which owns 11 per cent of the miner.
Gas-rich Qatar, which has built the second-largest stake in the miner, said last week it was firm in its demand for Glencore to improve its offer to 3.25 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share held, up from the 2.8 on offer.
Xstrata also said on Wednesday that it continued to expect the merger to complete in the fourth quarter.
Antitrust reviews were progressing, it said, with an ongoing process in China and South Africa and constructive discussions with the European Union ahead of a formal notification, expected in coming weeks.
City A.M. Reporter