Glencore's $30 billion bid for miner Xstrata is not a "must-do deal", its chief executive said on Tuesday, in the company's strongest suggestion yet that it will not yield to key shareholder Qatar's demand for an improved offer.
Ivan Glasenberg, speaking as the commodities trader reported a smaller than expected drop in first-half profits, expressed exasperation with Qatar Holding, which has been in a stand-off with Glencore since the sovereign wealth fund surprised the market by demanding an improvement to Glencore's offer of 2.8 new shares for every Xstrata share.
Qatar has built up a stake of almost 12% in Xstrata since the deal was announced in February, well short of Glencore's 34% holding but enough to block the takeover deal at a vote next month.
"We cannot understand the position of the Qataris, asking for more than the 2.8 ratio. We have seen nothing coming out of recent results that supports this. In fact we have seen quite the opposite," Glasenberg said. "It's not a must-do deal. It's a deal that we believe makes sense."
"It is unlikely anyone else will come and buy Xstrata, so it still sits there for us to look at some time in the future," he said. "It is not as if it is a deal we are going to lose, or that is running away from us."