Mumbai: The Tata group is looking at the assets of Australia’s New Hope Corp, a $5 billion coal miner that put itself up for auction last month, and could consider a bid in the future, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.
Tata group firms Tata Power and Tata Steel have been on the lookout for coal assets in recent years to feed their growing raw material requirements.
The source told the news agency that the discussions are at a very preliminary stage.
Utility Tata Power said in a statement, it is continuously evaluating “various opportunities to acquire resources including coal mines globally,” but did not offer any specific comment on any specific deal.
A spokesman for world’s number seven steelmaker Tata Steel said the company is evaluating various options for raw material assets but declined to comment on any specific deal.
New Hope is considering a break-up and asset sales amid interest from global resource companies, sources had said last month.
Another Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group is considering bidding for the coal miner, while other interested players include India’s JSW Steel, China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Co and London-listed Xstrata.
India holds 10% of the world’s coal reserves but local supplies are falling short of demand as the country builds more power plants, hence domestic firms have been scouting for coal assets overseas.