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EU Approves Rio Tinto's Bid to Create World's Largest Aluminum Company

At $38.1 billion, it's the biggest-ever acquisition in the global mining and metals industry

EU competition regulators on Oct. 3 gave the green light for Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto's bid to take over Canada's Alcan and create the world's largest aluminum firm.

While both companies are active in aluminum production worldwide, the European Commission concluded that the proposed deal "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in a substantial part of it."

Rio Tinto hopes to complete the $38.1 billion takeover, which has already been given the go-ahead by Australia's competition watchdog, by the end of the year. The deal would represent the biggest-ever acquisition in the global mining and metals industry, creating a new company to be called Rio Tinto Alcan based in Montreal.

"While both companies are active in the aluminum upstream activities (bauxite mining, alumina and production of primary aluminum), only Alcan is active in some downstream activities," the Commission said. Alcan is also active in the market for the licensing of refining and smelting technology.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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