Rio Tinto rubbishes talks of a merger

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said a merger with Glencore isn’t going to happen.

Speaking at an event in London over the weekend, Walsh said not only would regulators block any merger move, but the idea was also being balked at by investors.

Rio Tinto rejected a merger deal with Glencore last year, but the Swiss-based miner said it reserves the right to give the deal another crack in six months.

Walsh said while the media liked the idea of a Rio-Glencore merger, it was not on the cards.

"Investors say 'I don't get it, why are you giving this any airtime because it actually isn't going to happen'," Walsh said. 

"Part of the reason is value, part of the reason is anti-trust, the people who collect tax, and what have you, they are simply not going to let it happen."

Walsh went on to cite BHP Billiton’s failed takeover bid for Rio in 2008.

“At the end of the day, the BHP potential takeover of Rio fell over primarily because of value – but it fell over because the antitrust authorities said: ‘We are not going to let this happen.’ Simple as that.”

This is not the first time Walsh has rubbished talks of a merger with Glencore.

In December he said Rio was not looking to do “something stupid”.

Walsh said he didn’t object to making deals, but said any offer would have to respect the value of Rio’s assets.

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