updated 5/23/2007 8:00:41 AM ET 2007-05-23T12:00:41

Canadian aluminum maker Alcan Inc. is in talks with Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd. to try to fend off a hostile $27 billion takeover bid by U.S. rival Alcoa Inc., according to an article published Wednesday in Canada.

Alcan has rejected Alcoa’s offer and Chief Executive Dick Evans has said Alcan is having “ongoing discussions with third parties about various other transactions.”

Canada’s Globe and Mail cited unnamed sources in its report that Alcan is in talks with BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest resources company.

Spokesman for Alcan and BHP declined to comment on the newspaper report.

Recently, there has been speculation about a possible $100 billion-plus bid by BHP Billiton for rival miner Rio Tinto, contributing to gains in Rio Tinto shares.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Chip Goodyear wouldn’t say earlier Wednesday whether it is eyeing Rio Tinto, but he didn’t rule out “opportunistic” takeovers.

“We always look at acquisition opportunities,” Goodyear said during a business breakfast in Perth.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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