Friday, February 13, 2009

Another blow for minority shareholders

Barclays infuriated minority shareholders at the end of last year when they were not offered the deal with Middle Eastern investors whereby they would give it a cash injection in return for a gross annual yield of 14%. Now we have Rio giving Chinalco bonds yielding 9% in return for badly needed funds after its disastrous decision to buy Alcan at the top of the market, rather than offering a deeply discounted rights issue to all shareholders. Not only that, it is also selling Chinalco prize assets at prices which may well be too low. Minority shareholders are fuming again. Barclays shareholders had threatened to vote down the deal but in the end agreed to it. Let's see if Rio shareholders give in so easily.


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