Sterlite acquires ASARCO's assets for $2.6 bn

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Chennai, May 31: Sterlite Industries (India) Limited, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc, the London-based metal and mining group, and ASARCO LLC, a Tucson-based company, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for the sale of substantially all the operating assets of ASARCO to Sterlite for 2.6 billion Dollars. The agreement was subject to the approval of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division, a company release here said.

The integrated assets to be acquired include three open-pit copper mines and a copper smelter in Arizona, US, and a copper refinery, rod and cake plant and precious metals plant in Texas, US. The asset acquisition was on a cash-free and debt-free basis. ''ASARCO, formerly known as American Smelting and Refining Company, is an over 100-year-old company and is currently the third largest copper producer in the United States of America.

It produced 235,000 tonnes of refined copper in 2007,'' it said.

ASARCO's mines currently have estimated reserves of approximately five million tonnes of contained copper. For the year ended December 31, 2007, ASARCO had total revenues of approximately 1.9 billion Dollars.

Sterlite Chairman Anil Agarwal said ''this agreement is in line with our stated strategy of leveraging our established skills.'' ASARCO President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph F Lapinsky said ''the sale will achieve the overall best value for ASARCO, its employees, creditors and the local communities in which we operate.''

UNI

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