Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sterlite increases offer price in Asarco bid

Sterlite Industries has increased its offer price to acquire assets of US-based Asarco by around $170 million, a move that could counter rival bidder Grupo Mexico’s revised bid.

Sterlite, a unit of the London-listed Vedanta Resources, has raised the non-cash portion of its $1.7-billion offer price that it made in March, due to rising copper prices, said persons familiar with the matter. Now Sterlite’s bid for Asarco’s assets has gone up to $1.87 billion. Asarco on Monday informed the US bankruptcy court about the revised offer.

Sterlite’s spokesperson declined to comment. Separately, in a late statement to BSE, Sterlite said it will seek shareholders’ approval to issue “appropriate” securities up to 25% of the current outstanding issued and paid-up capital. At Monday’s closing price of Rs 663.45 on BSE, Sterlite market cap totals little more than Rs 47,000 crore. So, 25% of this would amount to Rs 11,750 crore.

On March 7, Sterlite had announced that it would make an upfront payment of $1.1 billion in cash, and issue a secured non-interest bearing promissory note for $600 million payable over a period of nine years, with the payment outgo linked to the movement of copper prices, to acquire assets of Asarco.

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