Xstrata lifts offer for Sphere

Anglo-Swiss miner Xtrata unit Sidero last night raised its takeover offer for Sphere Minerals to A$3.00 per share from A$2.50 per share, valuing its offer at A$514m (£420.4m). Xstrata has been forced to extend its offer after poor uptake of its initial offer. China-backed Sin-Tang holds an estimated 12 per cent interest in Sphere, an Africa-focused iron ore miner.