Rio Tinto gains 41.5 per cent of Riversdale

Mining giant Rio Tinto has marginally raised its stake in its takeover target, coking coal miner Riversdale Mining, to 41.5 per cent.

Rio Tinto changed its offer for shares to unconditional yesterday amid last-ditch talks with key Riversdale shareholder CSN, but has been unable to raise its stake much beyond the 41 per cent it held on Monday.

Brazilian CSN has said it wants to keep its stake in Mozambique-focused Riversdale as a coal hedge, leaving Rio Tinto with just 98.25m shares.

Rio Tinto has effectively doubled its stake from the 50m shares or 21 per cent stake it owned before the offer but remains short of a controlling stake in the company. Its offer was originally conditional on it receiving 50 per cent of the shares.

Its offer values Riversdale at A$3.9bn (£2.5bn).

Rio Tinto will pay $16 per share for all offers up to a 47 per cent shareholding and $16.50 per share for any shares that take its stake above that.

The offer will close at 7pm on 6 April 2011.