Carlyle Interested in Australian Northparkes Mine Rights
The Carlyle Group, the renowned US private equity fund manager has forwarded a bid for Rio Tinto's stake in Australia's Northparkes Copper Mine. According to the Dow Jones News Agency, the bid was for the 80% stakeholdings in the mining rights in Australia and was confirmed by an anonymous source familiar with the transaction.
Rio Tinto is seeking to sell off its assets and one of the them is Northparkes. It is bidding to decrease its overall cost of US$5 billion and renew its focus on its best performing assets in order to protect its single A credit grade in a floundering market for commodities.
Rio Tinto spokesmen were not available for comment, as well as its financial advisor Macquarie, who did not make any comment. A Beijing based Carlyle spokesperson also declined to make a comment.
Many industry analysts forecast that the mining rights held by Rio Tinto can reach up to US$1 billion. Carlyle on the other hand has no existing mining interests in Asia. It is the second private hedge fund linked to Rio Tinto's Northparkes stake after previous reports said that KKR was interested to bid. A source told Reuters that KKR is no longer interested in making a bid for the rights.