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Friday, June 8, 2012

Glencore chief defends big executive pay


 Mr Glasenberg, the second-wealthiest Australian behind Gina Rinehart with a fortune valued at more than $6 billion, said Labor's imposition of a carbon tax and a mineral resources tax had undermined the country's traditional advantages over riskier investment destinations in the Third World.

Mr Glasenberg told a mining industry dinner in London that Australia was no longer seen as such a stable investment environment, and that major international mining companies had the further disadvantage of not enjoying the same leverage in Australia that they held when dealing with poorer countries.

“At least in the Congo they need you, they want you there and if they start changing the rules on you, you may not continue investing. In Australia your $3 billion is not that big,” he said.
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The South African-born executive, who gained an Australian passport while working in Melbourne, refused almost all requests to speak in public when Glencore, the world's largest commodity trader, was a private partnership. But following its public listing last year he agreed to address the London gathering of 550 executives at a function of the Melbourne Mining Club.

Glencore won’t be allowed to vote its 36.5 per cent holding in Xstrata on the deal, according to the UK’s takeover code, meaning Xstrata investors holding a combined 31.75 per cent stake could join forces to block the takeover.

“If I was a CEO and my shareholders voted down my salary, my compensation, because they didn’t believe I was worth it, I think you’ve got to resign,” Mr Glasenberg said.

Mr Glasenberg, who would become deputy CEO in the merged company, said it was up to Xstrata whether the payments can be adjusted.

“It has to get a 50 per cent vote and I hope it gets it,” he said at a dinner organised by the Melbourne Mining Club, a non-profit group that promotes the mining industry.

Glencore has also faced calls from Xstrata investors including Schroders, Fidelity and Standard Life to increase its bid for Xstrata, the world’s largest exporter of coal burned by power stations.

Switzerland-based Glencore is offering 2.8 of its shares for each Xstrata share. Glasenberg said yesterday that the ratio is “good”.

Glencore, the world’s largest publicly traded commodities supplier, sold $10 billion in stock at 530 pence apiece in an initial public offering in May last year, ending more than three decades of operating as a closely held partnership. Mr Glasenberg has a 15.8 per cent stake, valued at about $6 billion at current prices.

A combined Glencore and Xstrata would have operations and projects in 33 countries, including 101 mines and more than 50 metallurgical facilities. It would have about 130,000 workers.

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