Yanzhou holds fire on Rio Tinto deal
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.