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| 1/11/2011 12:00:00 AM

Xstrata Near to Buying Colombian Coal Miner: Report

January 11--London-listed miner Xstrata is close to winning the $8 billion auction for Colombia's second-biggest coal miner, British newspaper The Sunday Times said, without citing sources.

The newspaper said Xstrata was the only suitor to table a fully-financed offer for the business, which is being sold by family-owned U.S. group Drummond, by last month's deadline.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which is running the auction, extended the timeframe to allow other bidders including London-listed Vedanta Resources and India's Essar Global more time to arrange financing, the paper said.

However, they have struggled to do so, putting Xstrata in pole position to secure a deal, it added.

Xstrata declined to comment.

Brazil's Vale, Glencore International and mining investment vehicle Vallar also previously showed interest in Drummond's Colombian operations, sources familiar with the matter have said.
 
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