Glencore shareholders approve $67-bn merger with Xstrata

After nine months of hard negotiations, shareholders of commodities giant Glencore International today voted overwhelmingly in favour of its $67-billion merger with diversified Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata Plc.

In the long-awaited merger, 99.4 per cent of those who voted backed the resolution to create the world's fourth-largest mining company by market capitalisation, behind BHP Billiton, Vale of Brazil and Rio Tinto, and the seventh-largest in the UK's FTSE 100.

Now the focus will shift to Xstrata, whose shareholders are expected to back the deal in an unusual two-part vote at meetings in Switzerland and the UK.

Qatar Holding, Xstrata's second-largest shareholder after Glencore, last week said that it will vote in favour of the merger but abstain from voting on the controversial bonuses to be awarded for retaining Xstrata's top management.

The first resolution is to approve the merger with the £144-million retention bonuses for about 70 Xstrata top level executives and the second is to back the acquisition without the incentive proposal.

Although the vote on the merger is expected to be approved, shareholders of Xstrata may veto the payouts to the management.