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Rio Tinto sells shares

Rio Tinto – busy
reducing debts
 
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 July 2009 – Rio Tinto Group – the world’s third- largest mining company – has sold about 97% of its London- listed shares on offer in a US$15.2 billion (R121 billion) sale to reduce debt.

“The company sold 508.6 million shares at the close of the offer at 11 a.m. London time yesterday,” Rio said today in a statement to the Australian stock exchange here. Results of the sale of Sydney-traded shares will be announced Friday, it added.

Rio rejected a US$19.5 billion (R156 billion) investment proposal from its biggest shareholder Aluminum Corp. of China last month, and instead opted for the share sale and an iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton Limited. Chinalco, as the state-owned company is known, confirmed that it took up its rights in the share sale.

“This was an economically rational decision, as it prevented the dilution of our ownership in Rio,” the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement. “Chinalco will, as the company’s current largest single shareholder, continue to monitor developments at Rio.”

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