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Billiton and CVRD may buy and break up Rio Tinto

Section: Daily Dispatches

By V. Phani Kumar
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

HONG KONG -- Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton and Brazilian miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, or CVRD, may team up to launch a takeover bid for mining rival Rio Tinto, according to reports Thursday citing market rumors.

A Dow Jones Newswires report said spokesmen at BHP and CVRD declined to comment on the rumors, which cite unnamed traders as saying that the mining giants planned to break up Rio Tinto following its takeover.

Shares of Rio rose 2.8% in Sydney trading despite weakness in the broad market, while those of BHP added 0.4%, overcoming early weakness. CVRD's American Depositary Receipts closed 1.9% lower in New York Wednesday.

At Wednesday's closing price of the companies' ADRs, Rio Tinto has a market value of $103.86 billion, while CVRD is valued at $242.3 billion and BHP at $183.52 billion.

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