Baosteel exec says Rio Tinto bid highly likely

Dec 04, 2007 | 03:12 PM |

Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., China's biggest steelmaker, might challenge BHP Billiton's proposed takeover of Rio Tinto by launching a rival bid, possibly as high as $200 billion.

"It is in our consideration, and it is highly possible that we will offer," Baosteel chairman Xu Lejiang told the 21st Century Business Herald in Beijing. "We have not signed any agreement with Rio Tinto, and we are at the stage of working out the purchase strategy."

Xu couldn't be reached for comment, and several senior executives of the state-owned steelmaker declined to discuss the report. A senior official from the China Iron and Steel Association (Cisa) refused to confirm or deny the report.....

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