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Merger not worth it to BHP in the end

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The world's biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, says it's nixing its multibillion-dollar hostile bid for rival Rio Tinto. They're blaming it on the global financial crisis and regulatory worries. Here's Kyle James with the story.


Kyle James: If the takeover had gone through, it would have been one of the biggest ever. But the global slowdown and tumbling commodity prices made the deal look much less sweet to BHP.

Julian Emory is a mining analyst at Ambrian Capital:

Julian Emory: I think they needed to reassess the situation. It's nearly a year now since the bid was first made, and conditions have altered so dramatically since there. Metal prices have dropped so enormously.

BHP also had regulatory worries. The E.U. wanted it to sell off some of its business before it gave the go-ahead. In the end, the increased debt exposure was a risk BHP didn't want to take.

Steelmakers are breathing easier, though. They'd opposed the deal, fearing the new company's control of one-third of the world's iron ore exports would have given it too much pricing power.

In Berlin, I'm Kyle James for Marketplace.

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