Mining group Rio Tinto on Monday attempted to bolster its defences against a proposed £64bn ($133bn) takeover by rival BHP Billiton, promising to sell up to $30bn of non-core assets and raise its dividend by 30%. Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto chief executive, said in a Monday investor presentation that the proposal of three BHP shares for each Rio share was “a long, long way away” from what the board would accept. But rather than a defiant defence of Rio’s independence, Albanese’s remarks looked like a pragmatic demand for better terms, says Lex. With the market working on the assumption of a higher offer, the question now is how badly BHP wants to play ball.
From FT's Lex column