Swiss and Indian bidders vie for Northern Iron

Aussie-listed iron ore junior Northern Iron (ASX:NFE) is the object of competing bids for control from rival investors in Switzerland and India.

According to the Brisbane Times the company announced yesterday that Swiss group Prominvest AG had approached it with an offer valuing Northern Iron at AUD$525 million, or AUD$1.42 per share, on several conditions including a request for exclusivity.

The new offer is significantly sweeter than the bid made by Indian Group Aditya Birla last week which valued the company at AUD518 million, or AUD$1.40 per share. The Indian offer initially served to boost Northern Iron shares by 38%.

Despite its listing on the Australian Stock Exchange, Northern Iron's chief productive asset is the Sydvaranger Iron Project situated on the other side of the globe in remote northern Norway.

The offer comes just as the price for benchmark iron ore has fallen to its lowest level since December 2009, at USD$116.2 a tonne.

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