By Jonathan Davies
The Anglo-Australian mining group, Rio Tinto, has revealed it rejected a takeover bid from its rival, Glencore, in August.
Speculation over a merger intensified on Monday, resulting in Rio Tinto's shares rising by 9%. But the mining group said it rejected a bid from Glencore in August, explaining that a deal was "not in the best interests" of its shareholders.
If the deal had gone ahead, it would've combined Rio Tinto's market capitalisation of £56.3bn and Glencore's £44.5bn to create the world's largest listed mining business.
In a statement, Rio Tinto stressed that there are no ongoing discussions between the two firms, and none have taken place since it rejected Glencore's bid in August.
Rio Tinto chairman, Jan du Plessis, said the company had "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," he added.
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