Wednesday, 12 December 2007

As reported a couple of weeks ago in the entrepreneur, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, is finally studying the next steps in its takeover approach for Rio Tinto Group, which continues to reject talks on the $137 billion (£68.5 billion) proposal. Rio Tinto Group is the world's third-largest mining company and asked U.K. regulators yesterday to force BHP Billiton Ltd. to formalize its position. BHP Billiton Ltd. wants to create a company that would be the biggest producer of energy coal, copper and aluminium.

BHP Billiton Ltd is under pressure to increase its offer. Perennial Investment Partners Ltd., Argo Investments Ltd. and Baker Steel Capital Managers LLP say the three-for-one stock offer is too low. BHP Billiton Ltd needs to come back with an offer of 3.9 shares for every Rio share to get Rio to engage. BHP Billiton Ltd’s CEO, Marius Klopper (pictured) said in a speech for presentation to investors, ``We continue to believe that our proposal is compelling and in the interests of both sets of shareholders,'' (source: Bloomberg) - BHP Billiton's offer rejected

Pat Shanahan, Boeing's man on the hot seat offered customers yesterday and Wall Street the makings of a credible plan to keep the troubled 787 Dreamliner on track to meet its revised schedule.

But investors will have to fly on the faith of Shanahan's commendable record of fixing some of Boeing's most intractable problem programs. While offering insight into how he is making operational changes since the program schedule was reset in October, Shanahan, vice-president and general manager of the 787 program, and Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO Scott Carson offered few new details on the issues that matter the most to the 787's fate: namely, how to get from zero to six airplanes a month by 2009 and how exactly to prod some struggling suppliers such as Vought Aircraft to step up to the daunting challenge. Other key questions relate to weight reduction, aircraft certification, and suppliers being able to adapt quickly to engineering changes. (source: Business Week) - BP fined for a record amount (Article on Dreamliner delays)

Competition Commission’s Business and Enterprise Secretary, John Hutton, is expected to publish within the next week the Competition Commission’s conclusions from its inquiry into the legitimacy of BSkyB’s shareholding in ITV.

Mr Hutton can reject any penalty on Sky proposed by the commission, but is bound to accept the regulator’s in-principle findings — as long as they are purely on competition grounds. Yesterday, the commission inquiry team met to consider the case and will now finalise its report in the hope of delivering it to Mr Hutton this week.

The regulator is expected to repeat its provisional conclusion that Sky’s 17.9% ITV stake is too high and in breach of competition law. Mr Hutton then has up to 30 days before he publishes the commission’s report. Sky is 39.1% owned by News Corporation. The level to which the commission wants Sky to sell down is not clear and Sky has said that it was willing to put a 3.9% holding into an independent trust. (source: Timesonline) - Heathrow voted worst airport (article on BSkyB ITV shares)

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