LONDON (SHARECAST) - Resources trading and mining behemoth Glencore appears to have blinked in the ongoing game over its 90bn-dollar merger with FTSE 100 peer Xstrata.
The original deal, proposed earlier this year, had included a share swap ratio of 2.8 times. That was then lifted on Friday to 3.05, representing an implied premium of 27% to the respective prices last Wednesday.
Perhaps more intriguingly, it appears Mick Davies, the current chief executive of Xstrata, would also retain face by being appointed chief executive of the combined group for six months before handing the reins to Glencore’s supremo, Ivan Glasenberg.
Sir John Bond, Xstrata’s chairman, would also keep his job in the putatively named “Glenstrata”.
This is significant because over the weekend it had seemed as if the Xstrata board could have been completely sidelined following complaints from shareholders they had rolled over for Glencore too easily.
Several reports have suggested the improved offer was negotiated between Xstrata’s 12% shareholder, the Qatari sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding, and Glasenberg, after an intervention by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, reportedly for a fee of $1m.
The question now is whether Xstrata’s board will go for the deal, with the update on Monday saying: “Glencore has confirmed that it is content with Xstrata's request for Xstrata management and senior employees to receive appropriate retention and incentive packages.”
This further concession on the money paid to keep Xstrata management on board may be the final roll of the dice by Glasenberg in what is being seen as a final offer.
Shares of Xstrata have begun the day trading 2.51% stronger in London while Glencore shares are off by 0.81%.