ICVL weighs countering Rio's $3.9-bn Riversdale bid

International Coal Ventures (ICVL), an Indian consortium comprising of five state run companies, is mulling tabling a counter-bid to mining giant Rio Tinto's $3.9-billion bid for Mozambique focussed coal miner Riversdale Mining.

ICVL, a joint venture between SAIL, Coal India, NMDC, RINL and NTPC, had in December appointed banking giant Citigroup to make feasibility study on Riversdale acquisition and advise it on whether to bid.

According to several media reports, Citigroup made its presentation on Saturday, but the board of ICVL board deferred the final decision on making a counter offer for Riversdale on 27 January.

"We could not conclude the discussions and the issue will be taken up on 27 January," C S Verma, chairman of ICVL told Reuters after a meeting.

ICVL was formed on 20 May 2009, with an initial authorised capital of Rs10,000 crore (over $2 billion). SAIL and CIL each hold 28 per cent share and RINL, NMDC and NTPC, 14 per cent each.

In December Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, had  launched a formal $16 per share or A$3.9 billion ($3.9 billion) bid for Riversdale in order to gain control of 13 billion tones of coking and thermal coal in Mozambique. (See: Rio Tinto launches $3.9 billion bid for Riversdale Mining