Little more than a year ago, BHP Billiton
The Wall Street Journal recently conducted an interview with Marius Kloppers, BHP's CEO, who began pursuing Rio after ascending to his current position. The chase was called off exactly a year ago this month, when commodity prices sank so low -- along with Rio's share price -- as to make the all-stock proposal nonsensical. And so BHP pulled its offer, and Rio spent the next several months attempting to whittle down the billions in debt it had incurred a year earlier when it beat out Alcoa
Today, BHP is a solid company -- one that hasn't had to resort to the draconian cost-cutting measures that have befallen corporations in numerous other industries. And while it doesn't currently have any fish on the line from an acquisition perspective, Kloppers appears to know precisely the type of target he'd shoot for. As he noted in the interview: "We really only want very large, low cost, export-oriented [businesses], and then only in certain products."
I have a specific suggestion: My feeling is -- and long has been -- that BHP could gobble up Freeport-McMoRan
And if Freeport turned out to be a non-starter, there's always Potash Corp.
Finally, don't forget that, alone among the big miners, BHP has an active oil and gas operation. There would seem to be any number of energy companies that would fit. This is purely my own speculation, but a name like Devon