M&A deals evolving in weaker market

Oct 15, 2009 | 10:32 AM | Anne Riley

The era of large-scale debt-financed transactions in the global mining industry has come to a close, giving way to cautious mergers and synergetic collaborations, according to Alex Herbert, director of corporate ratings at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in London.

Massive merger-and-acquisition (M&A) deals like Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and Phelps Dodge Corp., or BHP Ltd. and Billiton Plc, which have dominated the mining industry in recent years, will no longer be the norm for the now-struggling sector, Herbert told AMM on the sidelines of LME Week.

"Companies are having to be much more defensive," he said. "They've learned that loading up on debt during the boom times only works if the boom times last."....

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