“There’s minimal benefit for Anglo, but maximum for Xstrata as the deal stands. Anglo has good knowledge of any costs and synergies that could be made with a tie-up, as the two miners talked a year ago,” one source said.
The companies have similar market capitalisations; Anglo is worth £21.3bn while Xstrata is valued at £20bn.
Analysts say that any synergies between the two companies would have to be be based on cultural change.
“There is asset overlap in coal and copper, and lesser overlap in platinum and zinc, so there are real synergies to be earned should the two companies merge,” Macquarie Research said yesterday.
But it added that “the lion’s share of the potential synergies” would come from the organisational, operational and cultural change that would filter though the organisation, with Xstrata management focusing on some of the quality Anglo assets that have not performed well in recent years.