Chatter is swirling that Chief Executive Marius Kloppers of the mining major BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) might be readying an offer of $55 per share for Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT), Alabama’s ‘pure play’ metallurgical coal producer. Shares of the latter ended the day Wednesday up more than 6.5 percent in New York, and BHP saw its stocks up 46.5p to 1998p in London. More rumors have it that BHP is planning a successor to Kloppers, perhaps Mick ‘the miner’ Davis, as he steps down as head of Xstrata (XSRAF.PK)(XSRAY.PK) once its now famous merger with Glencore International (GLCNF.PK) is completed. It has not always been easy going for Kloppers, who was heavily bashed for not being able to realize three important bids he initiated, namely, the full acquisition of Rio Tinto, a merger with the latter’s iron unit, and an offer for the Potash Corporation in Canada.
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