Canadian Manufacturing

Vote moved on $90-billion Xstrata, Glencore merger

Shareholder vote had been rescheduled to allow for more time to secure regulatory approvals.

GENEVA—Anglo-Swiss mining group Xstrata PLC and commodities trading giant Glencore International PLC have set September 7 as the new date for a shareholder vote on a merger to create the world’s fourth largest natural resources group.

Xstrata said in a statement that the vote, originally set for July, had been rescheduled to allow for more time to secure regulatory approvals. It added that Australia had already given its approval and the U.S. Department of Justice had taken no action during the waiting period after notice was given.

It also cited “constructive” talks with the European Commission and said that reviews of the deal are continuing in China and South Africa.

The deal, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, would create the world’s largest producer of thermal coal used to fire power plants and a major force in mining and producing copper and other metals.

The combined company is to be called Glencore Xstrata and have a market value of $90 billion. It would control a chain of businesses from mining to refining, storage and shipping of basic commodities like coal, copper and corn.

Last month, the two companies agreed to revise terms for paying retention bonuses for Xstrata executives that had stirred some shareholder opposition to the deal.

Xstrata said retention bonuses would start being paid only if combining the companies would cuts costs by more than $50 million a year. Bonuses will be paid in full if savings reach $300 million over two years.

But the deal still faces a challenge in Qatar Holding, which is a 10 per cent owner of Xstrata and wants 3.25 new Glencore shares for each Xstrata share, significantly more than the 2.8 shares currently on offer.

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