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26-06-2012 23:12:00

Qatar Calls on Glencore to Sweeten Offer for Xstrata

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By Alex MacDonald

LONDON--Sovereign-wealth fund Qatar Holding, which has amassed a substantial stake in Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN), called on Glencore International PLC (GLEN.LN) Tuesday to sweeten the terms of its merger proposal with the Anglo-Swiss miner.

Qatar Holding said in a statement that it informed Glencore Tuesday that, while it sees merit in a combination of the two companies, it is seeking improved merger terms.

Qatar Holding said it "believes that an exchange ratio of 3.25 new Glencore shares for every one existing Xstrata share would provide a more-appropriate distribution of benefits of the merger whilst properly recognising the intrinsic stand-alone value of Xstrata."

In February, Glencore and Xstrata disclosed a merger of equals to create the world's fourth-largest mining company, with a market capitalization of close to $58 billion based on a share-swap ratio of 2.8 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share. The deal is due to be voted on by Glencore shareholders on July 11 and by Xstrata shareholders on July 12.

Since the merger was disclosed, Qatar has amassed a roughly 11% stake in Xstrata, making it the second-largest shareholder after Glencore, which owns about a 34% stake in Xstrata.

Qatar's call for a higher share-swap ratio marks a shift in its investment approach from being an opportunistic investor to being a strategic investor. People familiar with Qatar's investment approach had previously said they expected Qatar to support the merger based on its current terms.

--Alex Delmar-Morgan contributed to this article.

Write to Alex MacDonald at alex.macdonald@dowjones.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 26, 2012 17:12 ET (21:12 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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