Qatar sees Glencore/Xstrata merger positively

Qatar's sovereign investment fund, the second largest shareholder in Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) with 12% of equity, confirmed Monday it is looking positively at the company's planned merger with Glencore International (LON:GLEN).

Speaking to reporters in the capital Doha, the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, said Qatar Holdings is “looking in favour of doing something between the two companies.”

The news come as a relief for the parties involved in the intended merger, one of the mining industry's biggest ever deals, as Qatar Holdings had earlier thwarted what was expected to be an untroubled merger of the two Swiss-headquartered commodities firms.

The group intended to obtain a more generous appraisal of Xstrata shares, which in the revised deal are valued at 3.05 Glencore shares from a ratio of 2.8:1 previously.

The transaction, five years in the making, would lead to the creation of a new force in the global mining industry comparable in clout and stature to diversified mining giants Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

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