Rio Tinto is in talks to sell its half of a Chinese aluminium joint venture to its partner, which is consolidating its assets to prepare for a takeover by another state-owned company, sources in the two Chinese companies said.
Rio’s joint venture partner, Qingtongxia, is set to be taken over by state-owned China Power Investment Corp to form China’s second-biggest producer of aluminium after Chalco, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media. Qingtongxia was in talks with Rio Tinto to buy back all the shares it currently did not own in the joint venture smelter, in order to consolidate its assets before the takeover, an official at Qingtongxia and a source at China Power said.
Rio Tinto spokesman Nick Cobban in London said the company declined to comment for now. The joint venture smelter has 150,000 tons of aluminium smelting capacity a year, around a quarter of Qingtongxia’s total capacity. (Reuters)