Xstrata board endorses Glencore merger deal just shy of deadline

Xstrata's (LSX:XTA) board will recommend the merger of the company with fellow Swiss commodities giant Glencore (LSX:GLEN).

According to the Telegraph the Xstrata board put the finishing touches to its recommendation over the weekend, led by chairman Sir John Bond.

The recommendation is slated for delivery to investors at 7am on Monday, just in time to meet the Takeover Panel's deadline.

The recommendation is conditional upon Xstrata retaining the majority of directors on the board of the merged company in order to prevent Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg from usurping control.

Most crucially, the recommendation is believed to enjoy the support of Qatar Holdings, who had earlier thwarted what was expected to be an untroubled merger of the two Swiss-headquartered commodities firms.

Qatar Holdings is Qatar's sovereign investment fund and Xstrata's second largest stakeholder with 12% of equity.

Qatar Holdings was intent on obtaining 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 proposed merger will lead to the creation of a new force in the global mining industry comparable in clout and stature to diversified mining giants Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

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