Simon English: Rudd may be relieved at mega-merger's demise

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The Independent Online

Outlook Talking of bets, it looks like a sure one the Glencore/Xstrata merger will be put out of its misery next week by opposition from 12 per cent shareholder Qatar Holding (plus a surprise Norse raid from Norges Bank Investment Management).

One who might be secretly pleased about its collapse is Roland Rudd, the boss of City PR outfit Finsbury, who has been Glencore's chief spinner since it floated last year.

Just before that float, Glencore managed to get itself into a bit of a pickle after the BBC's Robert Peston and Sky's Mark Kleinman announced that former BP boss Lord Browne was to be the commodity trader's new chairman. It was total cobblers, of course – the real chairman was quickly announced as Simon Murray – but the shambles made it look as though Glencore had been snubbed by his lordship.

How the cock-up occurred intrigued the City and word reaches me that Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg even confronted Mr Rudd with the widespread rumour that the spinner was the leaker. The PR man denied it and Mr Glasenberg accepted his word.

Even so, those close to the Glencore boss muse that a mega-merger would have given the combined group a perfect opportunity to reassess its advisers. Such a review, they whisper, may not have been good news for Mr Rudd. I speculate, obviously...