Final terms from Glencore in its hostile bid for Xstrata include this weird proposal:
In order to provide clarity on the issue of CEO succession, Mick Davis will become the Chief Executive Officer and executive director of the Combined Group on the Merger becoming effective but to step down within 6 months with Ivan Glasenberg becoming Chief Executive Officer of the Combined Group at that time.
Yup. Bouncing back from the Archbishop Tutu affair, the former British Prime Minister is understood to be acting as a last minute peacemaker between Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg and Qatar Holding, the SWF that is threatening to quash the $70bn merger of Glencore and Xstrata.
That’s the “development” referred to earlier by Glencore as it adjourned its shareholder meeting on Friday in Switzerland. Read more
Lightning never strikes twice…unless you are a Kazakh bank.
Or more specifically, unless you are BTA Bank. Remember them? The largest bank in Kazakhstan before the credit crisis, which defaulted on $12bn of debt in 2009? Read more
Lord Mandelson, the former Labour cabinet member, has launched a spirited defence of the previous government’s ties to Libya, reports the FT. Writing in Monday’s FT, the peer says the “denunciation” of those involved with Muammer Gaddafi’s regime has reached “ridiculous lengths” and warns it could backfire and harm British interests. The former business secretary’s comments came as David Cameron, prime minister, criticised Labour’s “dodgy deals with dictators in the desert”. But Lord Mandelson said former prime mininster Tony Blair was right to do business in Libya. Separately, the FT notes that as US and European sanctions take hold, Libya’s African investments – once seen as expensive “white elephant” projects – may be the country’s last unfrozen assets.
If you register with Britain’s Financial Services Authority, you must be in the process of setting up an investment bank or something, right? And if you are doing that, then it must be for doing dodgy deals for squillionaires, who are probably foreigners as well.
That, surely, is the takeaway from the Sunday Times’ “exclusive” this weekend, noting that the FSA registration of a vehicle linked to Tony Blair Associates offered the former British prime minister the chance to offer investment services to institutions and individuals. Read more
From an email doing the rounds in the City of London on Thursday morning:
Tony Blair is to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds from London hedge fund Lansdowne Partners for a series of four exclusive talks at the firm this year. The former UK prime minister has agreed to give private talks to Lansdowne employees about “geopolitical” trends, said a person familiar with the situation. Lansdowne told the FT that Blair had agreed to give the talks but would “not become a consultant or advisor to the firm.”
Sean Corrigan of Diapason Securities brings us the following chart:
The clue is in the acronym (it’s a duo).
Tony Blair on Monday landed another lucrative business contract, signing his second advisory deal with a financial services company since stepping down as UK prime minister. Zurich Financial Services, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, said Blair would advise James Schiro, its chief executive, “and provide general guidance on developments and trends in the international political environment”. The agreement follows a similar arrangement agreed recently between Blair and JPMorgan Chase, in which Blair offered his prestige and contacts for a salary reportedly exceeding £2m a year. As in the previous deal, ZFS gave no specifics about Blair’s responsibilities or the amount of time he would devote to his new duties.
Strange old world. First, we have our former prime minister proceeding with unseemly haste to the nearest US investment bank to give them the benefit of his wisdom.
Tony Blair’s decision to take the JPMorgan shilling, signing up as a part-time adviser to the bank with a pay cheque likely to be north of $1m, has sparked inevitable debate. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism thinks it’s “reprehensible” and advocates a two or preferably four year moratorium on private sector roles after leaving office to safeguard against conflicts of interest. Read more
Tony Blair is joining one of the Wall Street’s best-known banks in what the former UK prime minister told the FT would be the first of a series of positions he expects to take in the private sector. Blair, who stepped down as prime minister last year, is to become a part-time adviser to JPMorgan, where he will use his experience and contacts to provide political and strategic advice to the US bank and participate in some client events. Blair’s income from the job has not been disclosed, although recruitment consultants say it is likely to be more than $1m a year. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, said Blair would be “enormously valuable” to the company. Since leaving office, Blair, who is believed to have a large mortgage on a London house, has joined the international conference circuit. He was paid $500,000 for one speech in China. His move comes a month after Jonathan Powell, his former chief of staff, landed a full-time job with JPMorgan’s rival, Morgan Stanley.
Tony Blair mounted a strong defence of private equity on Tuesday as two top industry executives jetted into London to try to head off accusations of asset stripping and job cuts. The prime minister sought to damp the debate within the Labour party that gained traction when several contenders for John Prescott’s deputy leader’s job voiced concern about private equity, already derided in Germany as “locusts”. Mr Blair said at his monthly press conference: “Britain is one of the number one places in the world for private equity and I think the private equity market brings a lot of benefits to our economy.” Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone co-founder, and David Bonderman, co-founder of Texas Pacific, told a conference in Frankfurt that criticism of the industry was based on a mis-apprehension, before flying to London to woo the media.