Tata Steel, which is bidding for steel maker Corus, is close to sweetening its offer for the Anglo-Dutch company, but could wait until the deadline set by regulators next week before tabling a new offer, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Tata is in talks with its banks on financing for the bid but wants to hold back any announcement until January 30 to make it harder for Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, of Brazil, to come back with a raised bid of its own, it said.
Tata is understood to be contemplating an offer of up to 550 pence a share. At present, CSN has tabled a higher offer at 515 pence a share compared to Tata's 500 pence a share.
The UK Takeover Panel has given the two rival suitors time until January 30 to revise their bids and has indicated that if the competitive situation continues shortly before that date, the winner would be decided through an auction.
The Tata-Corus saga