Rio Tinto raised its offer for Africa-focused coal miner Riversdale Mining slightly to $3.9bn in a final bid to woo key shareholders, a move that Riversdale said was helping to sway institutions.
Riversdale chief executive Steve Mallyon said the higher bid was helping to win over institutional shareholders, but he did not know how Riversdale's two biggest shareholders, India's Tata Steel and Brazil's CSN, would respond.
Without Tata Steel and CSN, Rio needs nearly full support from the rest of Riversdale's shareholders for the bid to succeed, but up to now institutions have been reluctant to commit without knowing the two steelmakers' intentions.
"I can say that from the institutional calls that I've made in the last few hours that there's some growing support for Rio Tinto," Mallyon said.
"I think there's momentum building with the institutions, which is important in terms of convincing groups like Tata that Rio's going to be successful," he said.
Rio Tinto raised its bid by three per cent to A$16.50 a share and extended the offer period for a third time, to April 1, but said the new offer was final if no rival bids emerged
City A.M. Reporter