Indian steel firm is expected to increase its bid to 580p a share to secure takeover

Tata Steel is expected to raise its bid from 500p to as much as 580p a share in a bid to beat competitor CSN in the battle to buy Anglo-Dutch steel supplier Corus. CSN has already made an offer of 515p a share.

Kanan Shahm, analyst at Networth Stock Broking, told the BBC today: “Reports of 600p is too aggressive. 580p could be the highest which Tata could go up to.”

The UK Takeover Panel has said the two companies have until tomorrow to make their final offer or Tata will be put up for auction. Business Standard, however, has reported that the losing bidder may be able to make another bid after the final date for the auction on the 1 February.

Experts have found a small catch in the terms and conditions which indicates that if a third party should emerge then the two bidders can revise or create a new offer after the end of the auction process. However if there is no third bidder, and the two firms are still in competition by 4.30pm tomorrow, then the panel would allow each side up to nine bids over the next 10 hours.

Whichever company wins the bid that started in October 2006 will become the world’s fifth largest steel firm.