Vedanta to bid for Australian thermal coal miner New Hope Corp: report

British metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources is planning to bid for Australian thermal coal miner New Hope Corp, Reuters today reported, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

New Hope, Australia's second-largest listed coal miner by output, had last month put itself up for sale after being approached by several suitors, which sent its market value up by 15 per cent to nearly A$5.1 billion  ($4.8 billion). (See: Australian thermal coal miner New Hope invites bids) 

AIM-listed Vedanta, has held discussions with banks and is expected to appoint advisors "soon", the sources told the news agency. "We are yet to begin formal talks," one source told Reuters.

The news comes after Reuters reported early this month that Aditya Birla Group, the $37-billion Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate is mulling a bid for New Hope Corp.

The group needs thermal coal for its group companies Hindalco Industries and UltraTech Cement, the country's largest aluminium and cement producer respectively.

Other suitors for New Hope are Tata Group and JSW Steel, China's Yanzhou Coal Mining Co Ltd and London-listed diversified miner Xstrata.