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Metals and Mining Sector Consolidation likely as Russia's SUAL targets Anglo American

Companies / Strategic News Oct 29, 2006 - 12:07 PM GMT

By: Shahla_Walayat

Companies

With rumours of Russia's metals giant seeking to takeover South Africa's Anglo American, this on the back of a merger between russian minerals giants RUSAL and SUAL, creating a $25-30 billion company supplying one-eighth of the world's aluminum and 16 percent of its alumna.

The new russian giant is headed by Brian Gilbertson, former chief executive of BHP Billiton who wants to create a similar diversified company to BHP Billinton, which he was instrumental in creating in 2001. It may end up being called Anglo American Russian. Brian Gilbertson, former chief executive of BHP Billiton, reportedly wants to cobble together the global mining company Anglo American with Russian Aluminum.


Anglo American shares rose strongly as investors reacted to the reports as saying Gilbertson would use Anglo American as a vehicle to gain a stock listing for Russian Aluminum. Gilbertson is to become chairman of Russian Aluminum when it completes its pending takeover of Sual Group.

The idea would be to perform a reverse takeover, under which Russian Aluminum would buy Anglo American, then merge itself into that company. Anglo American is now worth about $67 million.

The mining sector has been undergoing a series of consolidations, as companies vie to secure supplies of commodities such as iron ore, coal and nickel. In August, Toronto-domiciled Falconbridge was absorbed by Switzerland-based Xstrata, which had formerly been a major shareholder.

Anglo American has benefited from a boom in metals as surging demand from China has sent prices of industrial metals such as copper, zinc and aluminum through the roof. In August, Anglo said it would hand back an extra $5 billion to investors after posting a 44 percent rise in first-half earnings

Further consolidations are likely in the sector during 2007 in the back of strong cash flows.


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