India's Sterlite says buying US copper firm Asarco for 2.6 bln dlrs
Monday, 02 June 2008

AFP, NEW DELHI - India's metals and mining company Sterlite Industries said it has signed a deal to buy US copper mining company Asarco for 2.6 billion dollars.

Sterlite, a subsidiary of British mining group Vedanta Resources, will acquire three open-pit copper mines, a copper smelter and a refinery among other assets, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

"We are delighted to have reached agreement on this important acquisition. which is a significant milestone for our group," Sterlite chairman Anil Agarwal said in the statement.

The acquisition will make Sterlite the world's third largest copper producer.

Asarco, formerly known as American Smelting and Refining Company, is the third largest copper producer in the United States. It produced 235,000 tonnes of refined copper in 2007.

The agreement with Asarco marks the biggest takeover of a US firm by an Indian company, and is the latest in a series of foreign acquisitions by Indian business groups.

Last year, Tata group staged India's biggest foreign takeover when it bought Britain's steelmaker Corus for 13.7 billion dollars.

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