Buying Binge

Oz Minerals / Reuters

BUYER: Minmetals
SELLER: Oz Minerals
The deal effectively cleared the Australian company's entire existing debt

A few years ago, the Chinese called it their "Going Out" strategy. State-owned companies in key industries were being encouraged by the government to plant the flag of Chinese capitalism around the world by purchasing stakes in foreign companies. China was booming, flush with cash and full of optimism — naive optimism, it turned out. In 2005, China National Offshore Oil Corp., China's oil and gas giant, tried to buy Unocal, the American oil company, and learned just how xenophobic Washington could be: the deal was called off after strident objections from congressional leaders. Two years later, Beijing's fledgling...

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