Corpus Christi, Texas: Non-ferrous metal and mining firm Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd shouldn’t be allowed to increase its bid for Asarco Llc, lawyers for Grupo Mexico SA said in a court hearing over the fate of the bankrupt US copper producer.
US bankruptcy judge Richard Schmidt in Corpus Christi recommended last month that Grupo Mexico be allowed to regain control of Asarco by paying all creditors in full.
Battle for control: Asarco Inc’s metals production plant in Colorado. US district judge Andrew Hanen will take the final decision on the bid. Matt Stayer / Bloomberg
Sterlite raised its offer and on Wednesday asked Schmidt to allow its new bid to be considered by the court that will make the final decision about which company wins Asarco.
Both these plans pay creditors 100 cents on the dollar plus interest, Schmidt said. He asked both bidders to give him more information on whether the latest offer should change his recommendation.
The final decision on who gets Asarco will be made by US district judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, who has said he hopes to rule by the end of November.
Grupo Mexico lost control of Tucson, Arizona-based Asarco after putting it into bankruptcy in 2005. Last year, Hanen ruled that Grupo Mexico intentionally harmed Asarco before putting it into bankruptcy by stripping the company’s stake in Southern Copper Corp.
Hanen ordered Grupo Mexico’s US holding company to return the stake along with any dividends associated with the shares. That judgement may be worth as much as $8 billion (Rs38,720 crore), according to court documents.