By Thomas Biesheuvel, Dinesh Nair and Jack Farchy, with assistance from Archie Hunter, Annie Lee, Jacob Lorinc and Joe Deaux
In the rush of the 2000s commodities boom, the world’s biggest miners earned a reputation as swashbuckling dealmakers, taking on rivals in an onslaught of hostile offers, massive mergers and vicious bidding wars.
Then it all fell apart. A series of disastrous transactions meant balance sheets got shredded, bosses got fired and investors were furious. And so, for the past decade, miners have focused on mining and the mega deals mostly dried up.
But now their penitence is over.