Mumbai: Arcelor Mittal, the world’s top steel maker and India’s Aditya Birla Group are leading the race to buy 51% in Indian iron ore exporter Sesa Goa.
Other possible bidders for the stake held by Japan’s Mitsui included Vedanta Resources and Brazilian miner CVRD. A final decision would be taken by the end of April.
According to offical sources, Australia’s Ro Tinto had backed out after India’s budget levied a tax of $7 (Rs300) per tonne on iron ore exports.
The two leading contenders are believed to have offered 2,000 rupees per share, down from 2,500 rupees, in the second round of bidding after the budget proposal to levy duties.
Sesa Goa, which owns mines in the states of Goa, Karnataka and Orissa, is India’s top private sector iron ore exporter to China, Japan, Europe and Pakistan. ($1=43 rupees).