Yanzhou holds fire on Rio Tinto deal

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

CHINA’S Yanzhou Coal Min­ing Com­pany is hold­ing fire on a counter of­fer for Rio Tinto Group’s Aus­tralian coal as­sets as it waits to hear if Glen­core has suc­ceeded in trump­ing the deal it struck six months ago. Glen­core chief ex­ec­u­tive Ivan Glasen­berg has sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to buy Rio’s Coal & Al­lied unit in New South Wales for at least $2.55 bil­lion (R32.92bn), the Baar, Switzer­land-based pro­ducer and trader said on Fri­day in a state­ment. Yanzhou’s Yan­coal Aus­tralia unit in Jan­uary of­fered $2.45bn for the busi­ness, in­clud­ing an ini­tial $1.95bn cash pay­ment and $500 mil­lion in an­nual in­stall­ments of $100m fol­low­ing com­ple­tion. “If Rio Tinto de­ter­mines that the Glen­core pro­posal is a su­pe­rior pro­posal, Yan­coal will have a right to match or bet­ter that pro­posal,” Yanzhou said in a Hong Kong ex­change fil­ing on Sun­day. A fur­ther an­nounce­ment would be made by the com­pany “if it re­ceives no­ti­fi­ca­tion from Rio Tinto in re­la­tion to whether the Glen­core pro­posal con­sti­tutes a su­pe­rior pro­posal,” it said in that state­ment. Rio’s board and man­age­ment will give the Glen­core pro­posal “ap­pro­pri­ate con­sid­er­a­tion and re­spond in due course,” the com­pany said in an­other state­ment re­leased on Fri­day. A Rio spokesper­son yes­ter­day de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

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