The Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan intends to pick a Japanese consortium led by Nippon Steel Corp. for rebuilding Mitsui Mining Co., sources said Tuesday.
The corporate bailout agency will formalize the selection later this month after working out such details as the price for which it will sell a stake in the troubled mining company, the sources said.
The consortium, which includes trading house Sumitomo Corp. and Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments Co., competed for the bailout role with U.S. investment fund WL Ross & Co. in the tender the IRCJ closed Friday.
The IRCJ prefers the consortium because Mitsui Mining needs long-term support for its revival, while an investment fund tends to seek a quick return, the sources said.
Government officials also backed the group of Japanese companies from the viewpoint of securing a domestic supply of natural resources and energy, as Mitsui Mining is a supplier of coke, which is now in strong demand from steelmakers.
Mitsui & Co. was originally scheduled to join WL Ross in the tender but later canceled.
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