UPDATE 2-Rio Tinto not looking at acquisitions to raise defences against Glencore

jueves 4 de diciembre de 2014 12:31 GYT

* CEO says focus on improving mining operations

* Says "not looking to do anything stupid"

* Open to offers for some assets at right price (Adds Rio strategy context, iron ore market)

By Silvia Antonioli

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Global mining company Rio Tinto is not looking to make any major acquisition to protect itself from a potential Glencore takeover, Chief Executive Sam Walsh said at a meeting with investors on Thursday.

Since Rio Tinto rejected a tentative approach from smaller rival Glencore in July, speculation has mounted that it might rush to make an acquisition to raise its defences against another takeover attempt by the mining and trading giant.

But Rio Tinto's boss said the focus remained on improving mining operations and delivering more cash to shareholders, rather than becoming involved in disruptive mergers and acquisitions.

"I see speculation that we are going to rush out and buy somebody. Let me reassure you that we are not looking at any major M&A. We are not looking at doing anything stupid," Walsh said.

Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg has criticized the strategy of rival miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to flood the market with new iron supply to squeeze out smaller competitors. He says the move has backfired and led to a fall in the iron ore price, which is down 50 percent this year.   Continuación...