Tata Steel ups stake in Australian coal miner Riversdale

Tata Steel has increased its stake in Australian coking coal miner Riversdale Mining to 27.14 per cent from 24.2 per cent at an investment of around Rs496 crore, reports from Mumbai and Australia said Wednesday.

The move could derail rival Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto's bid to acquire Riversdale.

Tata Steel increased its stake through market purchase by its subsidiary, Minerals Holdings Pte. The company had so far invested about Rs1,942 crore to own 24.21 per cent in Riversdale.

As of 1 March, the Tatas hold 64.23 million shares of Riversdale against 57.15 million shares held previously, according to a Riversdale filing with the Australian Stock Exchange (ASE).

Apart from the Tatas, Brazilian steelmaker Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA has also raised its stake in Riversdale to 17.58 per cent from 16.29 per cent.

Rio Tinto has made an offer to acquire ASE-listed Riversdale's stake at A$16 a share, which would have resulted in an investment of $3.9 billion. The offer is valid till March 18 and subject to conditions including receipt of a minimum acceptance of more than 50 per cent. Rio Tinto owns about 17 per cent of Riversdale shares.