Economy

Rio Tinto favors Yancoal in mine deal

Rio Tinto favors Yancoal in mine deal

Rio Tinto said Tuesday that its board considered a number of factors related to both proposals, including the size of both bids, and chose to stick with a $2.45 billion offer that Yancoal Australia Ltd. made in January, in part because it expects to complete the deal faster than one with Glencore.

Early this month, Glencore made a surprise bid for Rio's assets, which are near its own mines in the Hunter Valley. Despite environmental concerns about the carbon-intensive fossil fuel, Glencore expects continued demand, especially in Asia, as coal can still be the cheapest form of baseload power.

Glencore said it would respond in due course.

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Industry sources said they expected Glencore to continue to press its case to buy the Australian coal mines, which are next to assets it already owns.

Mr. Jacques said Yancoal's revised offer is the most attractive because it removes a deferred payment structure, can meet the timeline set for the transaction, and has given the company certainty regarding the outstanding regulatory approvals required.

Rio's recommendation to shareholders was based on Yancoal's agreement to "accelerate all deferred payments and make a single payment of $2.45 billion at completion to purchase the C&A assets plus coal price-linked royalty".

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Under U.K. and ASX listing Rules, the transaction with Yancoal requires the approval of Rio Tinto shareholders.

Glencore said it had received clearance from Japan, which would be the destination for much of the coal involved. The sale process became contested earlier this month, when Glencore lobbed a $2.55 billion offer for Rio's mines, rail and port assets in the Hunter Valley.

Dual-listed Rio said it would put the Yancoal offer to shareholders this month, with the transaction expected to be completed by the third quarter. Rio Tinto's share price meanwhile is 1.36 percent worse off at 3,046.00p.

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"Missing out may be a little disappointing for Glencore which will remain in the hunt for alternative transactions", BMO Capital Markets said in a note.


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