Chinaclo remains coy

Monday's press conference given by Chinalco and Alcoa shed little light on the raiders' motivations or plans. Regardless, any BHP bid will definitely need the support of Rio's board

Whatever the motivation for the decision by Chinalco and its junior partner to spend $US14 billion on their sharemarket raid on Rio Tinto, their assembling of a blocking stake ensures that if BHP Billiton wants to maintain control of the terms of engagement with Rio it now definitely needs the target board’s support.

Until Friday it was technically feasible for BHP to succeed with a hostile bid for Rio, despite the complexities associated with trying to merge the four different legal entities within the two dual listed companies.

After Friday, when the state-sponsored Chinalco and Alcoa acquired 12 per cent of Rio’s London-listed entity, a hostile offer can only succeed with the interlopers’ support.

Monday’s press conference, given by Chinalco president Xiao Yaqin and Alcoa Australia’s Alan Cransberg, shed little light on the raiders’ motivation or plans.

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