Commodities trader Glencore is scrambling to save its twenty one billion euro bid for mining company Xstrata.
Xstrata’s second largest shareholder, the state investment group Qatar Holdings, is threatened to oppose the offer.
Qatar’s 11th hour objection gives Glencore just days to sweeten the terms of the deal or delay it.
Intense negotiations are now underway with the Qataris.
“Maybe this now allows the deal to be restructured, to make it more likely to succeed, and the external pressure allows this to happen without too much loss of face,” one top 40 Xstrata shareholder said.
Analysts cautioned that the deal could well be kicked down the road for at least six months or as much as 12, as Glencore could refuse to budge.
Glencore and Xstrata have until Thursday to alter the terms of the deal without having to change the dates of shareholder votes, set for mid July.