Former Xstrata Executive in Bonus Suit Must Repay $525,000

  • Richard Elliston's award overturned by London appeals court
  • Judge orders him to return money he received from Glencore

Richard Elliston, the former company secretary of Xstrata Plc, lost his bonus fight against Glencore International Plc when a London appeal court overturned a 420,000-pound ($613,000) award and ordered him to repay some of the money.

Elliston sued to recover an unpaid severance award after being fired when Glencore took over Xstrata in 2013, winning his case last year. Appeal judges overturned that ruling Thursday and said he should return the 240,000 pounds he has already received from Glencore along with about 120,000 pounds in legal costs, a total of about 360,000 pounds.

Judge Elizabeth Gloster said Elliston wasn’t entitled to the money because he had accepted a one-time bonus of 488,000 pounds for his work on the merger and was told he couldn’t have both.

Xstrata paid some of its executives bonuses to mark the $29 billion Glencore deal weeks after its investors voted against 144 million pounds of retention payments to about 70 managers. In December 2012, Mick Davis, Xstrata’s chief executive officer, wrote to Elliston informing him about the transaction bonus, saying the merger “brought with it many hurdles along the way and has been a real test of our character.”

Elizabeth Philpott, a lawyer for Elliston, declined to immediately comment when reached by phone. Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul declined to comment.

Glencore’s acquisition of Xstrata created the world’s fourth-biggest mining company, adding coal, nickel, zinc and copper mines to Glencore’s trading empire.

The case is: Glencore Services (UK) Limited v Elliston, U.K. Court of Appeal, Civil Division, A2/2014/3664

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