Rio Tinto-Glencore a ‘poor match’: Sam Walsh

Rio Tinto-Glencore a ‘poor match’: Sam Walsh

"There are no sacred cows," Sam Walsh said at a meeting with investors on Thursday. "If anybody, including Glencore, wants to come and make an offer that recognizes the true value of assets … then of course we are going to take a look at it,"

Rio Tinto’s (LON:RIO) chief executive Sam Walsh has once again flushed out rumours of a mega-merger with rival miner Glencore (LON:GLEN), telling the Australian Financial Review (subs. required) the two were simply “a poor strategic match.”

Walsh, who also emphasized Rio was not planning any major acquisition to protect itself from a potential takeover by Glencore, said in a statement Thursday he would continue to drive cost cuts and better returns for shareholders.

"I see speculation that we are going to rush out and buy somebody. Let me reassure you that we are not looking at any major M&A. We are not looking at doing anything stupid," Walsh said according to Reuters.

A merger between the companies would combine the world's second and fourth largest miner and knock BHP Billiton off its throne. And the estimated $160 billion deal would add chunks to CEO Ivan Glasenberg's already large bank account.

Some analysts estimate the companies could save up over $500 million if they were to merge just their coal operations in Australia.

Rio's board rejected in July a merger approach from Glasenberg and has consistently rejected speculation of further talks between the two. However, Walsh has also said he remains open to selling some assets if the right buyer comes along.

"There are no sacred cows," he said. "If anybody, including Glencore, wants to come and make an offer that recognizes the true value of assets … then of course we are going to take a look at it," Reuters quoted Walsh as saying.

Read Rio Tinto's statement about being on track for sustainable increased shareholder returns here.