Tony Blair steps in to rescue £50bn Glencore deal
Tony Blair's diplomatic skills are said to have come to the rescue of a £50bn merger deal in danger of collapse.
Shareholders in the multinational mining corporation Xstrata had been expected to throw out a proposed merger with the trading house Glencore when they met yesterday at Xstrata headquarters in Zug, Switzerland.
The deal would see Xstrada's highly rated boss, Mick Davies, sacked with a goodbye package worth several millions, and replaced by the billionaire commodities trader Ivan Glasenberg, the head of Glencore. It appeared to be doomed because of the opposition from Xstrata's biggest independent shareholder, the oil rich sheikhdom of Qatar, whose Qatari Investment Authority holds 12 per cent of the shares.
The Wall Street bank, JP Morgan, are Qatar's bankers, and retain the services of Tony Blair as a member of their advisory board, for a reputed annual fee £2.5m. According to the Financial Times, the former prime minister brokered last-minute talks between Mr Glasenberg, and the prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, before the crucial shareholder meeting. Mr Blair's office declined to comment.
The two men did not reach an agreement, but the proposed merger has been kept alive by an increased offer from Glencore.
"This is not a firm offer. Any elements of the proposal remain subject to change and the proposal also remains subject to Xstrata plc board approval," Xstrada said yesterday.
Mr Blair's demonstrated his skill as a negotiator in Downing Street when he achieved what had previously appeared to be impossible by persuading opposing sides in the Northern Ireland conflict to come to the negotiating table and sign an agreement.
Since leaving he left office in 2007, he has tried to do a similar job in the Middle East as special envoy for the "Quartet' – the US, United Nations, the EU and Russia.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Oscar Pistorius terrorised Reeva before he shot her dead, says June Steenkamp
Audacious North Korean kidnap plot foiled at Paris airport as 'Asian men' attempted to bundle student onto plane
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fragrance store are looking for enthusias...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a long-established, renown...