Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto is finalising a $3.8 billion takeover bid for Africa-focused Riversdale, two sources said — upping an earlier offer as it seeks to gain key coking coal supplies amid soaring demand from India and China.
A formal bid for Mozambique-based Riversdale Mining could spark a bidding war as companies seek access to what is expected to be the world's second-largest coal exporting market in coming years.
A group of Indian public sector enterprises has said it is looking at Riversdale. Other major mining companies are also interested.
Rio Tinto was locked in talks with Riversdale's board, but a final deal has not yet been completed because of some last minute wrangling over price, one source said. Spokesmen for both Riversdale and Rio Tinto declined to comment.