March 3, 2008 / 9:48 AM / 10 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Bold takeover bids from big global miners

(For related story see ZINIFEX/OXIANA or [ID:nSYD321341])

March 3 (Reuters) - Australian miner Oxiana Ltd OXR.AX launched an agreed A$6.1 billion ($5.7 billion) takeover offer for Zinifex Ltd ZFX.AX on Monday, the latest move in a hectic round of consolidation among Australian miners.

In recent weeks BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), the world’s biggest miner, has made an all-stock $147 billion takeover offer for rival Rio Tinto (RIO.AX), while Brazil’s Vale VALE5.SA has launched a $90 billion offer for Xstrata XTA.L.

Here are some of major merger moves since June 2007.

* March 3: Australian miner Oxiana launches takeover bid for Australian miner Zinifex, to create a A$11.5 billion company ($10.7 billion) which would be the world’s No. 2 zinc producer.

* Feb 7: BHP Billiton launches sweetened, but hostile, $147.4 billion (75.1 billion pound) bid for rival miner Rio Tinto, ending months of speculation. The deal would create the world’s third-richest company, ranking behind only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N).

* Jan 21: Brazilian mining giant Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, says it is in talks to buy Swiss-based diversified miner Xstrata. The acquisition could be worth an estimated $90 billion. It would create the world’s biggest nickel producer, ahead of Russia’s Norilsk Nickel.

* Jan 17, 2008: Anglo American Plc (AAL.L) says it is in talks to buy control of two Brazilian iron ore projects owned by MMX Mineracao (MMXM3.SA)(XMM.TO) for around $5.5 billion.

* Dec 21: Russia’s United Company RUSAL will buy a stake in Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) from Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Group, to build a globally competitive Russian metals and mining major.

* Dec 17: Australia’s Zinifex offers up to A$775 million in cash for nickel miner Allegiance Mining (AGM.AX).

* Dec 7: China’s state-owned Sinosteel makes a $1 billion cash takeover proposal for Australian iron ore miner Midwest Corp MIS.AX, way above a rival all-share offer from Murchison Metals Ltd MMX.AX, as Chinese companies push overseas to secure resource assets.

* Dec 5: Xstrata makes a A$960 million cash bid for coal miner Resource Pacific, trumping an all-share offer by New Hope Corp, as it seeks to grow in Australia’s booming resource sector.

* Dec 4: Palmary Enterprises Ltd looks set to win a battle for Australian manganese miner Consolidated Minerals Ltd CSM.AX after raising its offer to $1 billion and securing rival bidder Pallinghurst’s stake.

* Oct 29: Xstrata says it has offered A$3.1 billion for Australia’s Jubilee Mines NL JBM.AX. Potential counter-suitors are thought to include BHP, Vale and Norilsk Nickel. Norilsk outbid Xstrata earlier for Australian nickel miner LionOre.

* July 12: Rio Tinto agrees to pay $38.1 billion for Canadian aluminium company Alcan. By Oct 25, 79.4 percent of Alcan’s shares had been tendered to Rio, which extended its bid to Nov. 8 to buy the remaining Alcan shares. The acquisition makes Rio the world’s largest aluminium producer.

* June 25 2007: Germany’s Norddeutsche Affinerie (NAFG.DE) offers 777 million euros to buy Belgian rival Cumerio CUMR.BR. The combination would create the world’s third-biggest copper refiner and Europe’s largest producer.

Sources: Reuters

Compiled by Asia Commodities desk; additional writing by Gillian Murdoch

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