Mining Industry Offers Rich Vein For Mergers

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Description: More mergers in the mining industry are likely in 2008, analysts say, including potentially some of the biggest M&A deals ever. Australia-based mining company BHP Billiton in November announced plans to launch an unsolicited tender offer to merge with UK-based Rio Tinto in a stock-swap transaction for which Thomson Financial gave a rank value of $192.75 billion. Russian companies, such as Norilsk Nickel and Rusal, also are likely to participate in the ongoing consolidation in the industry. Rusal, Russia's largest aluminum producer, merged with smaller rival Sual along with Switzerland-based commodity trader Glencore International in 2006. Rusal said the merger would solve the problem of the historic lack of available bauxites and alumina in Russia.
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