Rio Tinto’s preferred bidder is expected to be revealed next week and Glencore is lobbying that its offer is unlikely to be hamstrung by onerous legislative hurdles.
The Switzerland-based trading house’s global coal boss, Peter Freyberg, briefed the Rio Tinto board in Montreal overnight and reportedly emphasised it was confident regulators would not pose an insurmountable hurdle.
Glencore’s critics have highlighted that China’s Ministry of Commerce took six months to approve the company’s purchase of a 50 per cent stake in Rio Tinto’s Clermont mine. But the six months was based on the fact that the Mofcom, arguably the country’s second most powerful arm of government, was examining the broader Glencore and Xstrata transactions.
Glencore agreed to the Mofcom condition that it sell the Las Bambas mine in Chile. The sale occurred in April 2014 and a few weeks later Mofcom gave the go ahead for Glencore to buy Clermont.
Glencore has also been playing down the potential issues the Chinese might have given the amount of coal exported from the Hunter Valley.
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