Tata Steel owns a 24 percent interest in Sydney-based Riversdale, for which Rio Tinto Ltd. has made a takeover bid, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Tata Steel, in a regulatory filing, said it would "evaluate the takeover bid in the context of other alternatives available to Tata Steel."
International Coal Ventures Ltd. -- a joint venture of Steel Authority of India Ltd., NTPC Ltd., NMDC Ltd., Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. and Coal India -- announced it has appointed Citibank as its merchant banker to advise on a possible counter-bid for Riversdale.
ICVL's chairman denied the group had initiated talks with Tata Steel about a counter-bid.
"No. Any decision on bidding will be taken after the merchant banker's report," Chairman C.S. Verma said.
Any ICVL bid would have to top Rio Tinto's offer of $16 a share for Riversdale.
Verma said ICVL has enough time to decide whether to make a counter-bid because a Riversdale shareholders' meeting on Rio Tinto's offer will take place after 30 days and Citibank will submit its report within two weeks.