Minmetals takes over MCC as Beijing reforms state-run firms

The company logo of Minmetals Resources is displayed outside its headquarters in Hong Kong April 26, 2011. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s consolidation drive took aim at the mining sector on Tuesday with China Minmetals Corp to take over equipment maker China Metallurgical Group Corp.

Minmetals is China’s biggest steel and base metals trader with revenue of more than $50 billion last year.

It owns a major stake in Hong Kong-listed, Australia-based MMG Ltd, an operator of copper and zinc mines in Australia, Africa and Laos.

It will take over China Metallurgical Group Corp, known as MCC, which builds and designs mining and plant equipment and had revenue of more than $33 billion in 2014.

The merger marks one of the largest in China’s metals sector as Beijing looks to overhaul state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in sectors including steel, coal and oil.

It comes as global miners grapple with a downturn in demand and a year-long rout in metals prices.

China’s SOEs are dominated by just over 100 central government-owned conglomerates overseen by the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

Overhaul steps are expected to cut that number to around 40, according to media reports.

SASAC announced the mining merger but gave no further details of the transaction.

Reporting by Josephine Mason; additional reporting by Winni Zhou in Beijing and Ruby Lian in Shanghai; editing by Tom Hogue and Jason Neely