Rio Tinto takes control of Riversdale

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Anglo-Australian resources giant Rio Tinto said Friday that it has taken control of Mozambique-focused miner Riversdale after securing more than 50 percent of its shares.

The news comes one day after Riversdale management recommended that shareholders accept Rio's near US$4.0-billion (2.7-billion-euro) takeover.

"Rio Tinto has today acquired a majority interest in Riversdale Mining Limited," the group said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"Rio Tinto's shareholding in Riversdale today passed 50 percent and may increase further with the takeover offer remaining open until 20 April 2011."

In addition, Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie, Rio Tinto Energy chief development officer - coal, Matt Coulter, and Rio Tinto Australia managing director David Peever have been appointed to the Riversdale board.

"This is an exciting day for Rio Tinto and Riversdale," Ritchie said in the statement.

"The new Riversdale board will reflect our majority shareholding and help clear the way for the development of Riversdale's assets as quickly as possible."

Earlier this week, Rio increased its Riversdale offer to Aus$16.50 ($17.20) per share from Aus$16, after topping its target acceptances level of 47 percent. That valued its long-time takeover target at almost $4.0 billion.

Last week, Rio had declared the bid unconditional, meaning that all of its takeover provisions had been met.

© 2011 AFP

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