Sterlite buys Asarco for $2.6 bln

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New Delhi, June 2 (UNI) Sterlite Industries today said it has acquired the operating assets of copper miner Asarco for 2.6 billion dollars.

''Tucson-based Asarco, the third largest copper maker in the United States, is a strategic fit with Sterlite's existing copper business,'' the company said in a statement.

The assets acquistion will be financed by Sterlite through a mix of debt and existing cash resources, it added.

Asarco, which owns three copper mines in Arizona, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 after it was sued for one billion dollars over environmental cleanup and asbestos claims.

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

However, the agreement is subject to the approval of the US Bankruptcy Court for the southern district of Texas, Corpus Christi Division, the statement said.

Asarco, formerly known as American Smelting and Refining Co, produced 2,35,000 tonnes of refined copper in 2007, with 1.9 billion dollars revenue. Its mines had an estimated reserve of five million tonnes of contained copper last year.

UNI AK SG DS1251

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