The road to a BHP, Rio Tinto deal

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Demand from developing nations like China and India have contributed to huge price spikes this year in everything from oil to copper to corn. In the past year, commodities prices have nearly doubled. And that's meant fat times for commodities companies. You might remember Exxon recently reported the biggest profit in U.S. history. Today, BHP Billiton reported record earnings. But that could actually keep the mining mammoth from getting what it really wants -- a whole lot bigger. From London, Stephen Beard explains.


Stephen Beard: BHP made almost $15.5 billion in the year to the end of June. The global slowdown doesn't worry the company. It believes there will still be sufficient demand for raw materials in emerging markets.

But there are questions about the company's $130 billion all-share bid for its rival, Rio Tinto. Some analysts say both companies are doing well enough on their own. They don't need to merge. Others argue that given BHP's strong earnings, Rio can demand a much better offer.

David Hart is with research group Fat Prophets:

David Hart: Either the addition of a cash component or lifting that all-share offer is what's going to be necessary to win the day.

BHP also needs to win the approval of European anti-trust regulators. Together, the two companies would control one-third of the world iron ore market.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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