Cubitt prepares to defend WMC from Xstrata bid

Melbourne: Cubitt Consulting was this week due to issue a statement on WMC Resources detailing the Australian mining company’s defence against a £3bn hostile bid from Swiss rival Xstrata.

As revealed on last month, Australia’s last domestically owned diversified miner drafted in Cubitt to handle financial comms around Xstrata’s approach.

WMC investor relations manager Jane Mussared said the firm had appointed Cubitt for general communications in the UK, but added that the battle to fight off Xstrata was part of the agency’s brief.

Cubitt managing partner Simon Brocklebank-Fowler is leading the account in London. The deal also involves Cubitt’s New York office, Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek.

Xstrata has worked with Michael Oke, founder of Aura Financial, since flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 2002 when Oke was MD of Prospero Financial. Oke has advised Xstrata CEO Mick Davis since 1997 when Davis was chief financial officer of Billiton.

In November last year, Davis argued that Xstrata’s offer of A$6.35 per WMC share was a significant premium on WMC’s share price high of A$5.

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