Sterlite Offers to Let Grupo Out of Asarco Penalty
Sterlite Industries Ltd said on Monday that it would release Grupo Mexico SAB de CV from a potential legal liability of nearly $8 billion if the Indian miner can win control of bankrupt U.S. copper miner Asarco LLC, Reuters reported. In a court document filed on Monday, Sterlite said that if a federal court approves its plan to acquire Asarco over rival bidder Grupo Mexico's offer, it would not hold Grupo Mexico liable for more than about $900 million of liability related to the 2003 transfer of a Peruvian mine. This is the latest twist in the year-long battle for control of Asarco, which owns three copper mines in Arizona. Grupo Mexico has been desperate to regain control of Asarco after a federal district judge found in April that Grupo Mexico had made a "fraudulent transfer" of Asarco's "crown jewel" stake in Peruvian miner Southern Copper Corp in 2003 and ordered Grupo Mexico to return the stake along with a cash payment. Grupo Mexico, the largest copper miner in Mexico, acquired Asarco in a leveraged buyout in 1999 but lacks board control because of the bankruptcy. Read more.