Rio Tinto takes control of Riversdale board

29th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto on Friday said it had assumed control of the Riversdale board and intended to de-list the Africa-focused miner once its takeover offer expired.

Rio said it now held a stake of more than 73 percent in Riversdale, with just 0.63 percent not under either its control or that of India's Tata Steel, as it took charge of the Australian coal firm's board.

It extended its takeover offer, due to expire Friday, to May 6, and told the remaining Riversdale shareholders there was "no prospect that (Rio) will raise the offer price."

"Rio Tinto has assumed control of the Riversdale Mining Limited board with the appointment of two new directors, and will seek to de-list Riversdale following the end of its takeover bid," the miner said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

It follows Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN)'s agreement to sell its entire 19.35 percent holding in Riversdale to Rio earlier this month, clearing the way for the $4.0 billion deal.

CSN moved a number of times to boost its holding in Riversdale after Rio's offer, fuelling speculation of a stalemate over the Australian miner's lucrative African steelmaking coal.

Riversdale has three coal mining projects in Africa, including massive operations in Mozambique which it sees as the "world's new source of premium hard coking coals" by 2025 for rapidly developing China, India and Brazil.

© 2011 AFP

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