Monday, November 12, 2007

Digging in deep with Rio and BHP

From FT Alphaville:

he plot thickens in which is current all-share offer by BHP Billiton for rival Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto.

Marius Kloppers, BHP chief executive, on Monday tried to splash some cold water on a Sunday Times report that BHP is considering the sale of its petroleum arm — one its biggest subsidiaries — to help finance a hostile takeover of Rio.

“No, there are no plans to sell petroleum,” Kloppers told a phone briefing, reports Reuters. He also said in the briefing that BHP had earlier talked with anti-trust regulators in Australia and Europe on the deal, and did not see any need at this stage to sell any assets.

Earlier in the day, BHP — clearly trying to grab the initiative — published details of its merger proposal and announced an initial £15bn share buy-back if it succeeds in taking over Rio, reports the FT....MORE

The Real Deal - Investment banks should look beyond Rio’s bandwagon

The behaviour of some of the investment banks around BHP’s attempted £67bn ($140bn) takeover of Rio Tinto has left a bad taste in some boardrooms.

Several banks seem so keen to get a role in the proposed deal that they are prepared to risk upsetting long-standing clients in the mining sector.

Anglo American is understood to be irritated that Goldman Sachs has chosen to work for BHP. Goldman has worked for Anglo for years and is listed as the mining group’s corporate broker alongside UBS. The pair are in the process of selling Tarmac, Anglo’s £6bn UK-based building materials business. They also helped Anglo with a $1bn share offering last year that reduced its holding in AngloGold Ashanti, as well as handling share buy-backs for the group.

Citigroup has also jumped on to BHP’s team, but the bank has spent years working for Alcoa, the US mining group and Alain Belda, Alcoa’s chairman and chief executive, is also a director of Citi....