Peabody, ArcelorMittal launch hostile bid for Australian co Macarthur

PTI Paris | Updated on August 18, 2011 Published on August 18, 2011

US firm Peabody Energy and Europe’s ArcelorMittal steel company said today their hostile $4.9 billion (€3.4 billion) bid for Australia’s Macarthur had formally opened.

“Peabody and ArcelorMittal urge all Macarthur shareholders to accept the compelling offer to receive a substantial premium for their investment,” they said in a joint statement.

Jointly vying for Macarthur under the banner PEAMCoal, Peabody and ArcelorMittal launched a hostile bid of $15.50 per share on August 1 after the world’s largest miner of pulverised coking coal used as a low-cost input in steel making refused to back their initial friendly offer.

Macarthur’s management urged shareholders yesterday not to accept the offer until it is able to review a revised bidder’s statement to be issued following their talks with PEAMCoal, the investment vehicle being used by Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal.

PEAMCoal is 60 per cent owned by Peabody and 40 per cent by ArcelorMittal.

ArcelorMittal and Peabody Energy said a bidder’s statement would be sent to Macarthur shareholders today.

Macarthur’s shares were trading today at around the A$15.50/share offer price.

ArcelorMittal and Peabody Energy said current Macarthur shareholders would be entitled to retain dividends paid for the company’s financial year that ended on June 30 up to 16 cents, making their offer worth up to A$15.66 per share.

“Macarthur shareholders now have a clear opportunity to accept the PEAMCoal offer at a price that gives full credit to the state of Macarthur’s current operations and development projects,” the Peabody Energy chief executive, Mr Gregory Boyce, said in a statement.

They said the offer represents a 41 per cent gain over the A$11.08 price of Macarthur’s shares on July 11, the day Peabody and ArcelorMittal’s approach was disclosed to the market.

Published on August 18, 2011

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