Activist shareholder Knight Vinke blasts Xstrata board

LONDON Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:38pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Activist shareholder Knight Vinke, one of Xstrata's XTA.L top shareholders, told an investor meeting on Tuesday it had no confidence in the "independence and robustness" of the board and had voted against a $31 billion takeover by Glencore.

"We are extremely concerned with regard to the ability of the board of the newly merged company to represent our interests," David Trenchard, Vice Chairman of Knight Vinke said, speaking before shareholders vote on the deal.

"Good governance must now take centre stage and we intend to broaden our discussions with fellow shareholders to ensure that this is the case."

Xstrata chairman John Bond, who will be chairman of the combined group, defended a board he said had exercised "good stewardship" over the past decade.

"The board has, over the past five years, through on-off negotiations, rebuffed all proposals made to it. It was only when we found a proposal that we believed we had a duty to put to our shareholders...that we made our recommendation on the 7th of February," Bond said.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Sinead Cruise)

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