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Rio Tinto Rejects BHP Billiton's Offers (posted 2/6/08)

February 6, 2008
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The Rio Tinto boards have unanimously rejected BHP Billiton’s pre-conditional offers as not being in the best interests of shareholders.

The boards of Rio Tinto have given careful consideration to BHP Billiton’s pre-conditional offers to acquire the whole of the issued share capital of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited. Under the proposal, each Rio Tinto share would be exchanged for 3.4 BHP Billiton shares. The boards have concluded that the pre-conditional offers significantly undervalue Rio Tinto. Accordingly, the boards have unanimously rejected BHP Billiton’s pre-conditional offers as not being in the best interests of shareholders.

Rio Tinto Chairman Paul Skinner said, “BHP Billiton’s offers, while improved, still fail to recognize the underlying value of Rio Tinto’s quality assets and prospects. Our plans are unchanged, and will remain so unless a proposal is made that fully reflects the value of Rio Tinto. Accordingly, we are forging ahead with our strategy of operating and developing large-scale, long-life, low-cost assets to generate significant value for shareholders.”

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese said, “Rio Tinto has an exceptional portfolio of assets and significant stand-alone growth opportunities, particularly in iron ore, copper and aluminium. These assets and opportunities, combined with the company’s strong track record for value delivery, project execution and successful exploration, mean that Rio Tinto is very well positioned to take advantage of strong global markets and the growth in the resources industry, maximizing value for shareholders.”

Visit www.riotinto.com or www.bhpbilliton.com for more information.

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