Monday, February 2, 2009

Re-shuffling global assets from North to South – Vale do Rio Doce, Brazilian goes shopping for Rio Tinto's assets

The Ango-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto Group is selling mining assets in Argentina, Brazil and Canada to Brazilian competitor Vale do Rio Doce for $1.6 billion Rio Tinto is facing tough times as it desperately tried to reduce its $39 billion debt.

Rio Tinto has reportedly already sold over $3 billion of assets. The company said “the latest sales represent a major step towards meeting its goal to reduce debt from $39 billion to $10 billion.

Did a bit of research and Vale do Rio Doce doesn't seem to have much debt. Which is a really good thing for miners right now! With commodity prices as low as they are, servicing debt is a dangerous thing. .

Vale however, because it saved it's penny's during the good times has managed to scoop up two of Rio's prized operations in Argentina and Brazil for pretty good price. Vale do Rio Doce paid $850 million for Rio's major potash operation in Argentina; and in Brazil it paid $750 million for the Corumba iron ore mine.

Citigroup analyst Clarke Wilkins said “the sale highlights good prices for assets can still be achieved in the current market. Indication that the assets are still perceived as viable long term investments even though commodity prices are so low. It may take time for them to recover, but when they do Vale do Rio Doce will make money from this purchase.

Check out what the stock has been doing recently. Good buy? Hmmmm.