Breakingviews

Glencore Rio takeover would be harder than Xstrata

October 7, 2014

Ivan Glasenberg’s miner-trader is stalking $90 billion iron giant Rio Tinto. Though there’s some logic to a deal, Glencore will be loath to pay much of a premium, and the clash of cultures would be extreme. Rio is also in a better position to resist than rival Xstrata in 2012.

Qatar plays merger-maker at Glencore-Xstrata

April 13, 2012

The Gulf state has been a successful arbitrageur in the past. Its 5 pct stake in Xstrata is under water following the recent equity market sell-off. But Qatar could provide extra leverage to help the miner extract a sweeter offer from suitor Glencore.

Xstrata shareholders should say no

June 19, 2012

The $45 mln three-year retention package to keep CEO Mick Davis at a merged Glencore-Xstrata is an insurance policy against the damage the company would suffer if he quit. But the premium is excessive. Investors should take a stand, even if that means losing the deal.

Glenstrata drama is no way to do M&A

September 7, 2012

Ivan Glasenberg’s curveball on Glencore-Xstrata shows bad form in deal making. Halting a shareholder vote after markets opened makes Glencore’s boss look more trader than statesman CEO. A solid deal may be imminent. But the messiness of it all should give investors pause.

Xstrata should accept revised Glencore pitch

September 10, 2012

The merger is now a $35.5 bln takeover at a modest premium. The tie-up is riskier since Xstrata CEO Mick Davis would exit after six months, although Chairman John Bond would stay. Xstrata investors will want more. But it’s hard to see a realistic alternative offering better value.

Key ingredient missing for M&A revival

September 17, 2012

Glencore-Xstrata and BAE-EADS might set bankers’ hearts racing. Bulls have financial fuel: QE3 makes debt cheap. They have economic logic: revenue pressure from sluggish growth makes scale more valuable. But a wave of mergers won’t come until confidence rises too.

Lonmin doesn’t have to surrender to Xstrata – yet

November 9, 2012

The big platinum miner spurned 25 pct owner Xstrata’s demand for management change in return for backing its $817 mln rights issue. It can afford to, for now: the fundraising is underwritten and Xstrata is probably loath to be diluted. But after this battle, Lonmin faces a war.

Glencore Xstrata needs governance champ in chair

January 24, 2013

The commodity trader’s board is already stuffed with operational expertise. CEO Ivan Glasenberg should resist the temptation to go for more of the same. The board needs a chairman with impeccable governance credentials. One former UK government minister fits the bill.

Glencore should just name Ivan Glasenberg chairman

May 16, 2013

The miner’s shareholders have handed Chairman John Bond his walking papers. Best practice dictates his permanent replacement be a strong outsider. This precludes tapping Glasenberg, the miner’s CEO and biggest shareholder. But a dual mandate would better reflect corporate reality.

Xstrata should bide its time on Anglo

October 2, 2009

Xstrata has been stalking Anglo American for more than three months. Now a “put up or shut up” ultimatum from the UK’s Takeover Panel means Xstrata’s chief executive Mick Davis has less than three weeks to make his move. He should just walk away.