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The Telegraph.co.uk reports Rio Tinto is "understood to have engaged Credit Suisse [CS] and Deutsche Bank [DB] to advise it on a range of options, including a bid for Alcan." A bid for Alcoa is possible, but thought less likely. Rio Tinto could emerge as a white knight for Alcan, which received a $28b hostile takeover bid from Alcoa in early May. RioTinto-RTP-BHP-Alcan-AL-Alcoa-AA-chart-07-05-07 Alcan has hired Morgan Stanley, a long-time financial adviser to Rio. Sources say Rio asked CS and DB to explore "strategic alternatives" in the mining sector. Larger rival BHP Billiton is also said to be interested in Alcan, along with other players such as Xstrata , Anglo American and Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, according to analysts. In the meantime, Alcoa has said it could bid more for Alcan, while the latter reportedly could make a reverse hostile bid. Alcan is believed to have already talked with both Rio and BHP about a deal, but it is unclear what stage talks are in, if any, at present.

Sources: MarketWatch, Telegraph.co.uk
Commentary: Speculation Takeover Continues For Alcan, Alcoa: BHP, Rio Tinto Front-RunnersTeck Cominco in $3.9B Deal; Rio Tinto Says Unable to Meet Chinese DemandAnalysts Skeptical of BHP Bid for Alcoa, Alcan; Shares of All Three Rise
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Rio Tinto plc (RTP), Alcan Inc. (AL (defunct)), Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP), Anglo American plc ADR (AAUK), Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE:RIO), Xstrata [UK: XTA]

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Source: Rio Tinto Hires Advisors in Possible White Knight Bid for Alcan -- Telegraph