At least once in about a decade a merger or acquisition significantly reshapes an industry. The announcement by BHP Billiton, an Australian mining group, that it proposes to buy some of Anglo American’s mining assets is widely seen as this decade’s possible game changer. 

The proposal, made late last month for $39bn, has been rejected twice by Anglo’s management and board. BHP Billiton has until next Thursday to make a binding offer. ..

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