Knight Vinke raises questions about Xstrata board independence

Activist investor Knight Vinke Asset Management, a top 20 investor in Xstrata , has criticized the miner's non-executive directors for failing to demonstrate sufficient independence in its protracted merger talks with trader Glencore .

The New York-based investment firm said the "merger of equals" recommended by Xstrata's board on Monday would in reality effect a change of control, with CEO Mick Davis replaced by Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg.

Knight Vinke said it would consult other investors with a view to taking steps to strengthen the board's independence.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise, editing by Laurence Fletcher)