Equinox breaks bid silence
Australian copper miner Equinox Minerals yesterday broke its silence on a takeover bid by China’s Minmetals Resources (五礦資源), calling it “opportunistic” and “lowball.” Earlier this week, Minmetals said it would offer US$6.5 billion for Equinox in what would be the biggest Chinese takeover of an Australian resources firm. The offer would see Minmetals pay C$7 (US$7.33) per share for a company listed in both Canada and Australia, meaning regulators in both countries need to approve the deal. Minmetals currently owns 4.2 percent of Equinox. In a statement, Equinox said the offer price of C$7 per share was a “low premium” and a “fraction of premiums paid in recent acquisitions of base metal mining companies.”
Rio Tinto gains control
Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto says it has gained control of Riversdale Mining by raising its share stake above 50 percent. Rio Tinto said yesterday it hopes to increase its holding further as its takeover offer of A$16.50 (US$17.25) per share remains open until April 20. Rio Tinto’s holding exceeds the combined 47 percent stake of India’s Tata Steel and Brazil’s CSN. Tata has a separate 35 percent stake in Riversdale’s key Benga coal mine in Mozambique. Australia-based Riversdale owns another major project in Mozambique and controls the Zululand Anthracite operation in South Africa.
Toyota to restart all plants
Japanese automaker Toyota said yesterday it would restart all domestic assembly plants on April 18, more than a month after they were brought to a halt following the nation’s biggest recorded earthquake. “Toyota will start operating its assembly plants from the morning shift of April 18 until April 27,” a company spokesman said. Plants will then become idle for the Golden Week holiday season, as they do every year, he said, adding that no decision had been made for the post-Golden Week schedule. The restart plan comes as a boost to an automaker that on Wednesday was threatened with a downgrade of its long-term credit rating by Moody’s.
Content dispute in court
Time Warner Cable Inc and Viacom Inc have taken their dispute over what content can be put on the cable company’s iPad app to a federal court in New York City. The companies filed lawsuits against each other on Thursday, asking the court to decide the issue. The lawsuits were filed after Time Warner agreed to drop a dozen cable channels from the popular tablet computer sold by Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. News Corp’s Fox Cable Networks, Viacom and Discovery Communications Inc asked Time Warner to pull their programming from its iPad app. They said putting the programs on it was violating their programming contracts. The media companies say Time Warner should pay more money to distribute on devices other than television sets. Time Warner says existing contracts already provide it with the necessary rights.
Daelim to build new plant
South Korean builder Daelim Industrial said yesterday it has won a US$318 million order to build a petrochemical plant in the Philippines. Daelim said it would complete the plant by November under a deal with Petron, the Philippines’ largest oil refining firm. The company said the plant would be built in Limay, on the northern island of Luzon.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200