Clock Ticking on BHP Bid for Rio Tinto

BHP Billiton has until Feb. 6 to formalize its takeover bid, but the drop in its share price complicates a potential higher offer

The clock is ticking for Marius Kloppers. The chief executive of the world's largest mining group, BHP Billiton, has just eight days to either formalise his unsolicited takeover offer for the smaller rival Rio Tinto, or bin his audacious attempt to forge the world's first mining super-major. His counterpart at Rio, Tom Albanese, has branded the offer as "ballparks away" from anything that would even serve as a base from which to begin talks, and so far Mr Kloppers has refused to budge on price.

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