Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said on Tuesday that it has rejected a merger offer from Glencore, saying it believed the bid was not in the best interests of its shareholders.
Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said a 160-billion-U.S. dollar combination merged mining giant with market-leading position in iron ore, copper, nickel, zinc and coal was viable and Standard Chartered had already been doing preliminary work on a deal.
However, the Rio Tinto board said no discussions were taking place with Glencore.
"In July 2014, Glencore contacted Rio Tinto regarding a potential merger of Rio Tinto and Glencore," a company spokesman said in a statement. "The Rio Tinto board, after consultation with its financial and legal advisers, concluded unanimously that a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto's shareholders."
"The board's rejection was communicated to Glencore in early August and there has been no further contact between the companies on this matter," it added.
Rio Tinto said it remained focused on the its strategy, which the board was confident would continue to deliver significant and sustainable value for shareholders.
"The board believes that the continued successful execution of Rio Tinto's strategy will allow Rio Tinto to increase free cash flow significantly in the near term and materially increase returns to shareholders," a spokesman said.