xitizap # 41

esqueceram-se do chinês

descubra a Mozal 3

astro stuff

soltas

BHP Billiton - o Mundo a seus pés ?

be afraid, be very afraid ...

 

A 5 de Fevereiro 2008, a BHP Billiton, a maior empresa metal-mineira do mundo, lançou uma OPA hostil sobre a Rio Tinto.

 

O negócio, supostamente a ser feito só à base de acções, na altura valia $147 biliões e visava criar um Golias industrial com o poder de $350 biliões; a 6 de Fevereiro, a Rio Tinto rejeitou a proposta BHP Billiton considerando-a como “significativamente” desvalorizada - note-se que esta pronta reacção da Rio Tinto se seguiu à compra “simpática” de 12% das suas acções numa acção conjunta encetada pela Alcoa (US)/Chinalco (Aluminium Corporation of China) poucos dias antes de alguns limites regulamentares; note-se também que este foi o maior investimento de sempre feito por uma empresa chinesa no estrangeiro.

 

A concretizar-se, a aquisição da Rio Tinto pela BHP Billiton dará lugar à dominância de uma única companhia sobre mercados tão vitais como o do alumínio, ferro, urânio, carvão e cobre – inevitavelmente.

 

Esta ambição BHP Billiton tem vindo a levantar enormes preocupações em países que, como a China por exemplo, necessitam de assegurar fornecimentos fiáveis e a preços não especulativos – uma preocupação que igualmente se estende às empresas (privadas e estatais) que, mais pequenas e/ou emergentes, justificadamente receiam um agravamento das condições da razoável concorrência.

 

Tal como em muitas de outras aquisições chinesas na área da energia e matérias-primas, a compra de acções na Rio Tinto (via Chinalco) pode ser interpretada como uma estratégia puramente defensiva face à ambição da BHP Billiton já que, pelo menos a curto prazo, a iniciativa chinesa parece centrar-se na prevenção de perversões monopolistas na formação de preços de vários recursos críticos.

 

Embora ultimamente a China tenha vindo a evitar iniciativas que possam ser tidas como estrategicamente agressivas, importa recordar que, se for o caso, Pequim nunca terá grandes pruridos em lançar tsunamis de fundos estatais na aquisição de patrimónios estratégicos. E, mesmo que às vezes pareça que por ali é só perder dinheiro, vale lembrar que desde há séculos que a China insiste em privilegiar a estratégia política na sua análise de custos e benefícios – curiosamente uma postura recentemente importada no putativo socorro dos mercados US, EU et al.

 

Perseguindo a auto-suficiência como um dos pilares da sua segurança, sempre que tal não é possível a China procura depender ao mínimo de importações e, nestes casos, quando se vira para o estrangeiro a sua primeira opção normalmente traduz-se, não pela guerra, mas pela aquisição de posições de controle em empresas e recursos como forma de reduzir os riscos na sua cadeia de fornecimentos externos.

 

E, se, por mera hipótese, as investidas chinesas na Rio Tinto se tornarem muito controversas em termos diplomáticos, particularmente na Austrália onde a Rio Tinto tem uma forte presença, Pequim pode calmamente largar o negócio – tal como o fez aquando da sua iniciativa para adquirir a Unocal Corp. (USA).

 

Mas, o facto de a China normalmente adquirir acções através de empresas estatais leva a que, mais ou menos justamente, surjam frequentes embaraços no processo – sobretudo a nível da regulação em algumas praças importantes.

 

Importa também notar que, tendo aprendido a lição Unocal, rapidamente a China passou a mitigar algumas das preocupações dos reguladores estrangeiros – por exemplo, quando começou por divulgar mais informação do que a que é estrictamente necessária aquando das propostas de aquisições financeiras nos USA - e também no caso da apresentação dos seus planos ao FIRB da Austrália a propósito de outras aquisições menores.

 

E voltando agora ao princípio, recordemos que, dentro de dias, a BHP Billiton (BHP-B) poderá tentar “adoçar” a sua proposta de aquisição da Rio Tinto com algum cash em cima do bolo das suas acções – uma situação que, certamente, não lhe será muito confortável em mercados creditícios tão asfixiados como o actual.

 

Por outro lado, a BHP Billiton não se pode esquecer que, pela sua frente, ao lado da China poderá vir a ter que enfrentar outros actores muito interessados na batalha contra esta desmedida ambição – actores como a Rússia e outros fundos soberanos que, inundados de reservas monetárias, terão bastante facilidade, e sobretudo interesse estratégico, em investir forte num sector metal-mineiro tão barato como o actual.

 

josé lopes

 

com os olhos em bico

 

outubro 24, 2008

 

fontes: web media, notably a Stratfor’s report.

 

Em outubro 2008,

a capitalização bolsista destes 2 “gigantes” já tinha caído assim:

104

54

 

Evaporaração das acções Chinalco?

 

O super-investimento da Chinalco na Rio Tinto ($14 bn em tandem com a Alcoa) navega hoje em águas muito turvas já que, na sequência do crash global, todas as acções sob custódia do Lehman Brothers passaram a estar congeladas e à guarda de um liquidatário.

 

À semelhança de muitos outros clientes do Lehman – hedge funds e empresas várias – a Chinalco tem estado a fazer frenéticos apelos para que as suas acções sejam imediatamente devolvidas, mas, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), o liquidante designado para as operações do falido Lehman Brothers na Europa, já advertiu que a questão poderá levar meses a resolver.

 

Pior ainda: para alguns analistas, não é de descartar a hipótese de as acções Chinalco poderem vir a ser vendidas para cobrir dívidas do Lehman Brothers.

 

Entretanto, o que parece certo é que, para além de muito dinheiro perdido, todo este imbróglio tornará muito difícil a possibilidade de a Chinalco – e portanto a China – vir a exercer poderes de voto nas assembleias Rio Tinto … e na batalha contra o takeover hostil da BHP Billiton.

 

Um twist a não perder …

 

 

À laia de pré-condição ao seu takeover sobre a Rio Tinto, a BHP Billiton definiu como indispensável a prévia aprovação do negócio por parte dos reguladores US, Austrália, Europa e outras praças.

De momento, a BHP-B já obteve luz verde dos reguladores US, AUS e África do Sul (condicional ao aluminío Coega), e é suposto que a Europa se pronuncie em Janeiro 2009.

 

Entretanto, não é ainda muito claro como e quando virá a China a fazer uso da sua nova Lei Anti-Monopólio (em vigor desde 1 Agosto 2008).

 

CHINA’S ANTI-MONOPOLY LAW

 

extractos de um artigo por Robert Doyle

 

After more than a decade of deliberations, the People’s Republic of China promulgated its Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) at the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People’s Congress on August 30, 2007. The new law will go into effect tomorrow, August 1, 2008. Like the Indian Competition Act, which will be effective later this year, the AML is based on Europe’s antitrust statutes broadly covering prohibitions on monopoly agreements, abuse of dominant positions and mergers. The law also has a highly controversial clause that prohibits the abuse of “administrative powers.” It also calls for the creation of an Anti-Monopoly Enforcement Authority (“AEA”), an “umbrella” antitrust regulatory agency.

……

The prohibition of monopoly agreements will abolish all forms of trusts including horizontal agreements as well as vertical monopoly agreements. An “abuse of a dominant market position” includes price fixing, forcing partners into exclusive trade arrangements, and imposing unjustified trading conditions. For a company to be presumed to have a “dominant market position,” it must own more than 50% of the market share.

…...

According to the Financial Times, although official M&A regulations have not been released by the Chinese authorities, leaked reports have indicated companies participating in a transaction with a worldwide turnover of RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion) or a combined turnover in China of RMB 2 billion ($300 million) or where each has a turnover of RMB 400 million ($60 million) in China will need antitrust approval.

…..

Furthermore, Article 31 of the AML states:

 

“In the case that national security is concerned, besides the examination on concentration in accordance with this Law, the examination on national security according to the relevant regulations of the State shall be conducted as well on the acquisition of domestic undertakings by foreign capital or other circumstances involving the concentration of foreign capital.”

 

The term “national security” is vaguely defined. This is the first time Chinese authorities have put such a requirement in written form. This clause essentially gives the Chinese government the final say on any transaction involving foreign capital. It gives the Chinese authority even more control over certain vital sectors such as energy and telecommunication.

 

…...

It is widely assumed that China will become the third largest antitrust jurisdiction next to the United States and the European Union… (and) foreign companies will have to now pay closer attention to transactions that might affect their Chinese subsidiaries or Chinese consumers. There is a real chance that major global mergers such as BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto and Microsoft/Yahoo may face significant delays under the new Chinese antitrust regime. In addition, there is a loophole within the AML that might save state-owned enterprises from antitrust regulation. Leaving the language dealing with state-owned enterprises vague may allow Chinese authorities to exempt them from this regulation. Even with these concerns, some believe that the new mergers and acquisition regime will not change the status quo in terms of the Chinese allowing foreigners to buy troubled Chinese companies and preventing them from buying majority stakes in large and financially successful Chinese companies.

 

Robert Doyle

full article: ( click & read)

 

Antitrust Lawyers Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC

 

Japan to Ask Europe to Block BHP's Bid for Rio Tinto, Jiji Says

 

By Tak Kumakura

 

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Japanese government will ask the European Union to block BHP Billiton's bid to take over Rio Tinto, Japan's Jiji Press reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

 

Japan, which relies on BHP and Rio for about 60 percent of its iron ore imports, is concerned that the merger would put Japanese buyers at a disadvantage, Jiji said.

 

European antitrust regulators will soon begin the final phase of their investigation into the transaction before reaching a final decision on Jan. 15 next year. Japan's Fair Trade Commission this year began a probe into the deal, Jiji said. Hiroyuki Ishige, Japan's vice trade minister for international affairs, is scheduled to meet with Philip Lowe, director-general of the European Commission's directorate general for competition, on Friday, Jiji said.

 

Afternoon Reading:

 

BHP-Rio–A Smaller Deal, but More Necessary?

Posted by Stephen Grocer

 

The current financial crisis–and subsequent tumble in stock prices–has made BHP Billiton’s pursuit of rival miner Rio Tinto less stunning.

 

When announced almost a year ago, the offer was valued at $170 billion and seemed destined to create a mining behemoth with a significant share of global market in several commodities. Now, with commodity prices in retreat and the share prices of both companies down significantly for the year, the offer is valued at just $70 billion, reports Reuters’s DealZone.

 

Now, Japan is calling on the European Union to block the deal. (Japan’s competition laws make it difficult for it to block the deal on its own.) What is the country’s interest in blocking the deal? Japan, lacking in such natural resources, is home to two of the world’s largest steel producers.

 

The EU commission has set a Jan. 15 deadline for making a final ruling on the deal, and with both companies’ share price perhaps set to fall some more, the deal may be looking even less like a mighty move toward a monopoly and more like a necessity, points out DealZone.

 

EU regulators object to Rio Tinto takeover

 

 

(Nov 4) BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — BHP Billiton Ltd. said Tuesday that EU regulators had highlighted antitrust problems with its hostile bid for rival Rio Tinto Inc. that would create the world's largest iron ore miner.

 

The company said it had received a statement of objections from the European Commission — a formal charge sheet that lays out how a deal may damage competition.

 

The EU executive said it would not comment.

 

Companies can try to defend the deal or alter it to win antitrust approval before regulators take a final decision to block or clear the combination.

 

BHP Billiton said it was continuing to work cooperatively with the European Commission and would respond to the EU to address the issues it raised.

 

Regulators have been scrutinizing the deal since July, saying they were worried about higher prices and reduced choice for European customers for metals and minerals.

….

In May, European steelmakers urged EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes to block the deal, saying it would create a company that could fix prices for steel's key raw material, iron ore that have surged this year.

Chinalco regains control of Rio stake

November 5, 2008 - 11:50AM

 

State-backed Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) says its stake in Rio Tinto, which was held by failed investment bank Lehman Brothers, has been transferred to another custodian.

 

Chinalco said its entire shareholding, which was held under a custodian agreement with Lehman Brothers International Europe, has been "transferred to a new custodian acting on behalf of Chinalco''.

BHP Supplies Information to Japanese Commission on Rio Offer

 

Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd., making a $73.8 billion hostile bid for Rio Tinto Group, said it is supplying information requested by Japan's Fair Trade Commission.

 

``They have requested certain information from us in connection with their enquiries into the offer,'' Illtud Harri, a BHP spokesman, said today by telephone in London. ``We are in the process of supplying the information and will continue to assist them.''

 

The commission demanded Melbourne-based BHP hand over the information by Nov. 17, the Age reported, citing Katsunori Inaguma, the chief investigator on the case. Harri declined to confirm the deadline or give details of the commission's request.

 

Asian and European steelmakers oppose the takeover, saying BHP would gain too much influence over iron-ore prices. The combined companies would vie with Brazil's Cia. Vale do Rio Doce as the world's largest supplier of the raw material used to make steel. European regulators sent a formal complaint to BHP outlining antitrust objections to the deal, the company said Nov. 4.

 

Japanese regulators step onto the world antitrust stage

 

carl.mortished@thetimes.co.uk (November 6, 2008)

 

LONDON -- For the biggest companies, merging has just become a lot more complicated. The stitching together of complex businesses scattered across the globe was always a legal headache, but it is about to become a regulatory nightmare.

This has nothing to do with America and its new leader, although the runes suggest that President-elect Barack Obama will preside over a more active antitrust regime than his predecessor. The emerging threat to the would-be merged comes from the Far East where forces are galvanized to stop the biggest deal on the stocks: the $78-billion (U.S.) hostile bid by BHP Billiton for its mining rival, Rio Tinto.

The Japanese are livid. They don't like this deal and they want to prevent it. Japan buys 60 per cent of its iron ore from the two Anglo-Australian giants and Japanese steel makers have endured a 96-per-cent increase in the price of ore this year. A combination of the two suppliers would give them more than a third of the iron ore market and as good as complete control over the biggest source of ore in proximity to Japan, the iron-rich Pilbara region in Western Australia. Japan's Fair Trade Commission is smarting over a reluctance by BHP to provide the regulator with information, and sources in Japan indicate that the JFTC intends to approach the European Commission, seeking its assistance in blocking the merger.

The point is that BHP Billiton does not accept that Japan has any legal jurisdiction over its proposed bid for Rio. A request by the JFTC through diplomatic channels in Australia for sight of BHP's merger plan was ignored by the company. From BHP's perspective, Japan has no legal relevance: The miner has no business residence in Japan, no mines, no headquarters, no shares listed.

However, Japan is a major customer, worth $9-billion to BHP in revenue. China and South Korea are also core customers and they, too, have expressed huge alarm over the prospects of the top two ore suppliers in the region snuggling up together. In its fury over BHP's snub, the JFTC is threatening legal proceedings against the company if it continues to refuse to comply with the request for information. Should the Japanese find against the merger, they could issue a cease-and-desist order which would complicate BHP's business dealings in the country, to say the least.

ah, ah, ah

 

Breaking News

 

BHP Billiton Ends Bid for Rio Tinto

 

BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, on Tuesday abandoned its hostile bid to acquire Rio Tinto, saying turmoil in financial markets, uncertainty about the global economic outlook and regulatory concerns in Europe meant the deal was no longer in the best interests of its shareholders.

 

in The New York Times (Nov 26, 2008)