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Two Canada pension funds said eyeing Rio Tinto’s IOC stake

Keywords: Tags  Rio Tinto, IOC, Iron Ore Co. of Canada, iron ore, coke, pension funds, CPPIB, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec Apollo Global Management

NEW YORK — Two Canadian pension funds are inviting investment firms to join them to bid for Rio Tinto Plc’s Canadian iron ore assets, according to media reports.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec are both seeking partners to table separate bids for Rio Tinto’s 59.7-percent stake in Iron Ore Co. of Canada (IOC).

CPPIB is working with U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC and is looking for other partners, while Caisse de Dépôt has held discussions with possible partners on bidding for IOC, according to the report.

Both companies told AMM sister publication Steel First July 8 that "they do not comment on rumor or speculation in the marketplace."

Other potential bidders named include private equity company Blackstone Group LP, Glencore Xstrata Plc and Teck Resources Ltd.

Rio Tinto plans to focus on its key assets and to sell noncore operations, which include its Canadian iron ore assets, after suffering more than $14 billion in write-downs in its aluminum and coking coal businesses last year (, Feb. 14).

Rio Tinto owns 58.7 percent of IOC, Mitsubishi Corp. holds 26.2 percent and Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Fund controls 15.1 percent.

Indian mining company Vedanta Resources Plc has withdrawn its bid for Rio Tinto’s Canadian iron ore assets, according to reports.

"It’s company policy not comment on speculation," a spokesman for Rio Tinto said.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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