Swiss based commodities giant Glencore recently upped its merger offer for mining company Xstrata to $36 billion, in an attempt to convince sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding to halt its opposition. Qatar is still mulling it over, but the fact that the deal still exists highlights the importance of a new intermediary, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Rather than become a standard elder statesman, Blair is using his unmatched contacts in business and government to become a sort of international corporate fixer.
Blair appears to have swooped in at exactly the right time, Reuters reports:
Within hours of Thursday’s late night Blair-facilitated meeting between Glencore’s management and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the second-largest investor in Xstrata, a revised offer was on the table and talks were back on.
His involvement is not exactly altruistic. Blair consults for JP Morgan, an adviser to Xstrata, which will see quite a payday should the deal go through.
What makes Blair’s involvement unique and interesting are the international political dimensions that separate this from an ordinary business deal.
Few people are equipped to simultaneously deal with British multi-national companies, a Qatari Prime Minister, and US investment banks. It could be a lucrative and unique second career for Mr. Blair.
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