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Glencore said to lay groundwork for potential merger with Rio

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Glencore said to lay groundwork for potential merger with Rio. Glencore is laying the groundwork for a potential merger with Rio Tinto Group in the next year that would create the world's largest mining company, worth about $160 billion, according to people familiar with the situation. As a preliminary step, Glencore has reached out to Aluminum Corp. of China (Chinalco), the Chinese state-backed company that is Rio's largest shareholder, to gauge its interest in a potential deal. A merger would catapult the combined company past BHP Billiton Ltd. to become the largest mining group, combining Glencore's vast commodity-trading operations with Rio's portfolio of iron-ore projects that feed demand for construction materials in China. For Glencore the time may be right to move toward a deal because of persistent weakness in the market for iron ore, which accounts for almost half of Rio's revenue and is weighing on its share price. Full report available via Bloomberg: (VIEW LINK)

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