The UK's Takeover Panel has set out rules for the final stages of a bidding war for Anglo-Dutch Steelmaker Corus, which looks set to go the wire on January 30 deadline.
The bidding process could result in much higher value ahead of the January 30 deadline than 515 pence a share offer made by Brazilian Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) to top a bid of 500 pence a share made by Tata Steel.
A takeover of Corus by either CSN or Tata Steel will create the world's fifth largest steelmaker and will be the latest in the industry as companies look for global reach, economies of scale and to secure valuable raw material supplies.
The Takeover Panel said last night that if both companies remain in the race to buy Corus by 4.30 pm (London time) on Tuesday, it would allow them to go through as many as nine rounds of rapid-fire bidding behind closed doors.
The companies will be entitled to modify their offers in each round, the Takeover Panel said, adding they would not need to announce their bids until the auction is finished and a winner is announced by the regulator. That is expected to happen by 3 am on Wednesday.
"Assuming, as is currently expected, that the auction procedure has completed by 2.30 am (London time) (0800 IST) on January 31, the Panel Executive expects to make an announcement by no later than 3 am (London time) (0830 IST) on January 31 setting out the prices of the offers to be announced by each following the conclusion of the auction procedure.