Qatar, the second-largest shareholder in takeover target Xstrata, has bought almost £24-million ($38-million U.S.) of additional shares in the miner, lifting its holding to over 12 per cent and raising the stakes in a standoff with rival investor Glencore.
Glencore, Xstrata's largest shareholder with 34 per cent, is offering 2.8 new shares for every Xstrata share held to secure a tie-up it hopes will create a mining and trading powerhouse. Qatar said last month it was demanding a ratio of 3.25.
Qatar has been incrementally raising its stake in Xstrata since late July, when it owned just under 11 per cent.
Glencore earlier this week made its strongest suggestion yet that it could walk away from its $30-billion bid for Xstrata, saying it was not a "must-do" deal.
Xstrata shareholders are due to vote on the deal on Sept. 7.