Rio Tinto Rejects $147B BHP Bid

Mining giant holds out for an even better offer from rival
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 11:24 AM CST
In this photograph from BHP Billiton, a worker watches a conveyer belt as iron ore is taken from Mining Area C in the Pilbara in Western Australia in this undated photo. Mining giant BHP Billiton vowed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rio Tinto today rejected a $147.4B bid from rival mining giant BHP Billiton, the Wall Street Journal reports. Although the bid would have been one of the largest takeovers ever, Rio is holding out for a sweeter deal. "BHP Billiton's offers, while improved, still fail to recognize the underlying value of Rio Tinto's quality assets and prospects," a company statement reads.

BHP wants to fend off competition from Chinese aluminum company Chinalco, which bought a stake in Rio and sent BHP's shares plummeting, Bloomberg reports. The Chinese operation, which badly wants access to Rio's raw materials, is mulling a counter bid. "Whether BHP will prevail in the end is probably still open to conjecture,'' one analyst said. "Is it enough? Probably not.''