Glencore's proposed £30bn takeover of Xstrata appeared to suffer a fatal blow yesterday as Qatar, a major shareholder with the power to virtually scupper the deal single-handed, said it would vote against the transaction.
The Qatar sovereign wealth fund, which has about 12 per cent of Xstrata's shares, first signalled its concerns about the deal price in June, saying it was "seeking improved merger terms" but stopping short of pledging to vote against it. However, in its second public comment on the deal, Qatar said it "will vote vote its entire shareholding in Xstrata against the proposed scheme" at next Friday's extraordinary meeting.
Qatar said it continued to "support the principle of a combination of Glencore with Xstrata" but said the 2.8 shares Glencore was offering for each Xstrata share was too low. Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg has said he thinks the offer is fair, but the fund had previously called for it to be lifted to 3.25 shares.