Related News

Home » Business » Energy

BHP eyes assets of troubled rival Rio

BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's largest mining company, may seek to acquire mines and plants from any distressed sellers and said some of Rio Tinto Group's assets would fit well into its portfolio.

BHP has stable cash flow and a strong balance sheet and is keen to acquire "tier one" assets that may become available, Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers said yesterday. Rio's 30 percent stake in Chile's Escondida copper mine would fit "tremendously well," he said, declining to say whether BHP has made an approach.

"On any individual negotiation, as a lot of these things are going on, I just can't comment," Kloppers told the Australian Broadcasting Corp's Inside Business program yesterday.

BHP, which last week booked a US$386-million charge for its failed takeover bid for Rio, has joined Xstrata Plc and Rio in closing mines and cutting jobs as the global recession cuts demand. But with less than 10 percent of its assets funded with debt, the company can be "very competitive" in bidding for any assets coming to market that fit its strategy, Kloppers said.

BHP owns 57.5 percent of Minera Escondida Ltd, operator of the world's largest copper mine, in partnership with Rio and a group of investors led by Mitsubishi Corp

Rio rejected a US$66-billion takeover offer from BHP last year and is in talks with parties including Aluminum Corp of China and Amcor Ltd on asset sales as it seeks to reduce debt.

Companies in several parts of the market are under financial stress and will need to sell assets, Kloppers said.

"Look at the industry at large," he said. "We've got a lot of leveraged companies."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend