BHP’s Rio bid begins battle of titans

Jan 01, 2008 | 10:18 AM |

BHP Billiton's $140-billion offer for Rio Tinto set the market abuzz in November and looked likely to spark a bidding war following reports that China's biggest steelmaker was preparing to crash the party.

Under the all-share offer, quietly made to Rio Tinto management twice—and rejected twice—the two companies would join forces to create a $350-billion mining group, the biggest in the world, with control of vast quantities of iron ore, copper, uranium, coal, diamonds and other commodities.

Rio's chief executive officer, Tom Albanese, has said BHP's three-for-one stock proposal undervalues his company. BHP's chief executive officer, Marius Kloppers, responded, "The bottom line here is simple. These two companies are worth more together than apart."....

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