July 29, 2012 / 11:33 PM / 7 years ago

Northern Iron says receives rival bid from Prominvest

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MELBOURNE, July 30 (Reuters) - Australian junior miner Northern Iron Ltd said on Monday it has received a rival takeover offer from Swiss trading company Prominvest AG worth A$525 million ($550 million), just topping an earlier bid from Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group.

The new offer from Prominvest was highly conditional and indicative with a cash price of A$1.42 per share, Northern Iron said.

That was just above a sweetened A$1.40 per share offer from Aditya Birla worth A$518 million.

Northern Iron’s shares closed at A$1.04 on Friday.

Northern Iron said it plans to allow Aditya Birla to examine its books, and will grant the same offer to Prominvest if it withdraws a request for exclusive access.

Northern Iron owns the Sydvaranger iron ore mine in northern Norway. It produced 501,000 tonnes of iron ore in the first quarter of 2012 and in late May said second-quarter output would be similar. Sales of its ore are spread across a range of steel mill customers worldwide, according to the company.

Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Richard Pullin

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