The European Commission suspended Wednesday its review into BHP Billiton’s proposed $138 billion unsolicited takeover of Rio Tinto, (RTP), pending further details from the miners.
The commission said the review was halted due to a failure by the companies to send in necessary information concerning the deal regulators requested on August 13. The requested information was not received by August 25, from which date the review has been suspended. The investigation had been scheduled to conclude Nov. 11.
BHP Billiton spokesman Ruban Yogarajah said, “BHP confirms the European Commission has suspended its merger control timetable pending receipt of a full response to a request for additional information relating to its review”. [Via TheAustralian]
The European regulatory body, which is widely viewed by BHP Billiton (BHP) as the biggest hurdle the co. faces in its effort to gain control of Rio Tinto, began an in-depth investigation into the proposed deal last month, worried that higher prices may significantly reduce the choice of European customers for metals and minerals.
The commission had been expected to publish its second phase BHP-Rio Tinto investigation findings on December 9. As a result of delays, any ruling on the deal may not be made until early next year. A new deadline will be set once the regulatory body receives the additional information.
BHP Billiton made a hostile bid for Rio Tinto in February. If the acquisition is given the green light, the newly formed company would overtake Brazilian giant Vale (RIO), the world’s largest iron ore miner. Vale today, according to Bloomberg – announced the co. intends to raise iron ore prices for its Chinese and Japanese clients again this year by 20%.