Joint bidders get 50.1% of Macarthur

Macarthur Coal is one of the nation’s last independent coal producers and is the subject of a $4.

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9 billion bid by US-based Peabody Energy and Belgium steel-maker ArcelorMittal through their equal joint venture bid vehicle, PEAM Coal Pty Ltd.

“PEAMCoal Pty Ltd disclosed today that it has a relevant interest in approximately 59.85 per cent of the Macarthur shares, excluding shares subject to the Institutional Acceptance Facility (IAF).

“As a result, the minimum acceptance condition of 50.01 per cent has been satisfied and PEAMCoal has declared the offer unconditional,” the joint bidders said in a statement on Monday, issued after the close of share trading.

“Those shares subject to IAF instructions will now be converted into actual acceptances of the offer.”

PEAMCoal will now proceed to appoint representatives to the Macarthur board.

“We are pleased to obtain a controlling interest in Macarthur Coal and look forward to advancing the company’s operating performance and growth initiatives, Peabody Energy chairman and chief executive Gregory Boyce said in the statement.

ArcelorMittal chief financial officer Aditya Mittal said in a statement that he encouraged “remaining Macarthur shareholders to accept without delay and improve their chances of receiving the premium $16.25 per share price”, should the bid vehicle reach the 90 per cent compulsory acquisition threshold..

PEAMCoal has said previously that it would increase the offer price for all shareholders from $16.00 to $16.25 per share if PEAMCoal acquires relevant interests in at least 90 per cent of Macarthur shares by 2000 AEDT on 11 November.

The statement also said that all participating members of the Macarthur board continue to recommend that Macarthur shareholders accept the PEAMCoal offer.

China’s state-owned invement company Citic, which held a 25.2 per cent shareholding in Macarthur, late last week agreed to sell its stake to Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal.

Citic’s decision to accept the offer gave the bidders control of 49.2 per cent of Macarthur.

A further 20 per cent to 25 per cent of the shares are believed to be held by hedge funds.

Macarthur had rejected an original $16 approach in July from Peabody because it had no-shop provisions – those that bar the seller from soliciting a purchase proposal from any other party.

That prompted the pair to go hostile with a then-$15.50 bid, raised to $16 a share in August.

Macarthur is the world’s largest exporter of low-volatile Pulverised Coal Injection (LV-PCI) coal used in the production of steel.

The product is mined at Macarthur’s Coppabella, Moorvale and Middlemount mines, all in Queensland.

Peabody Energy is the world’s biggest non-government coalminer and Arcelor is the world’s biggest steelmaker.

Macarthur Coal shares closed down two cents at $16.20 on Monday.