Just hours after rumours of a mega merger between Rio Tinto and Glencore started swirling Rio squashed those with a statement (Photo:ABC/Stephen Stockwell)

Just hours after rumours of a mega-merger between Rio Tinto and Glencore started swirling, Rio’s board squashed those, stating they aren’t interested in a deal (Photo:ABC/Stephen Stockwell)

After much speculation around the world (including CEO.ca), Rio Tinto issued a statement claiming that although they had been approach by Glencore in July 2014 about a potential merger; those talks ended a month later after Rio’s board decided “a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto shareholders.”

The fact Rio acknowledged Glencore’s intentions probably means a deal isn’t close.

With Glasenberg, who owns 9% of Swiss-based Glencore, at the helm its unlikely that Glencore will simply ask once and go away quietly.  The 57-year old billionaire South African (Glasenberg) is described by some as a ‘deal junkie’ and has been successful at closing other unlikely deals, including the $30 billion merger of Xstrata.

I would expect more on this over the next year, especially if the inverse trends in share prices continue between Glencore and Rio Tinto.

Glencore’s shares are up 12% on the year, while Rio is down by the same amount.

The Statement:

The board of Rio Tinto notes the recent press speculation regarding a possible combination of Rio Tinto and Glencore.

The Rio Tinto board confirms that no discussions are taking place with Glencore.

In July 2014, Glencore contacted Rio Tinto regarding a potential merger of Rio Tinto and Glencore.

The Rio Tinto board, after consultation with its financial and legal advisers, concluded unanimously that a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto’s shareholders.

The board’s rejection was communicated to Glencore in early August and there has been no further contact between the companies on this matter.

Rio Tinto remains focused on the successful execution of its strategy, which the board of Rio Tinto is confident will continue to deliver significant and sustainable value for shareholders.

Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said “Under the leadership of Sam Walsh and Chris Lynch, Rio Tinto has made significant progress in refocusing and strengthening its business.

“The board believes that the continued successful execution of Rio Tinto’s strategy will allow Rio Tinto to increase free cash flow significantly in the near term and materially increase returns to shareholders. Rio Tinto’s shareholders stand to benefit from the very considerable value that this will generate.”

Read: Statement regarding press speculation

Related: Glasenberg’s Glencore going big with potential $160 billion Rio Tinto bid