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AV Birla Group Bids for Australian Iron Ore Co: Report

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Aditya Birla group has submitted a non-binding bid for Australia-listed iron ore producing firm Northern Iron Ltd, the Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Northern Iron, which has operational mines in Norway with an annual production capacity of 2.2 million tonnes of iron ore, is expecting a valuation of about $500 million, the newspaper said.

"We are in the process of examining the mines, it looks like an attractive asset," the paper cited a source at Aditya Birla group as saying. The Indian conglomerate's natural resources arm has initiated the talks, it said.

The newspaper said Aditya Birla declined to comment, while a spokesman for Northern Iron said the company was currently undertaking a "strategic review" with Goldman Sachs as its financial advisor.

Reuters could not immediately reach the companies for comment.

The telecoms-to-cement Aditya Birla group companies include Hindalco Industries, India's top aluminium producer, and UltraTech Cement, the country's largest cement producer.