Peabody, ArcelorMittal acquire majority stake in Macarthur Coal

Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal have completed their takeover of Australia's Macarthur Coal by securing a majority 59.85-per cent stake in the world's biggest producer of pulverised coal.

The joint acquisition ended a three-month struggle to take control of one of Australia's last independent coal producer and also ended a 19-month chase by US-based Peabody, which had initially offered to buy Macarthur in March 2010 for $13 a share.
Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal had bid for Macarthur under their 60-40 joint-venture firm PEAMCoal Pty Ltd.

The offer is A$16 for each Macarthur share, but would raise this to A$16.25 if they got at least 90 per cent of Macarthur by 11 November, taking the acquisition value from $5 billion to about $5.3 billion.

The completion of the deal came within a few days after PEAMCoal extended the offer period for the third time to 11 November and China's Citic and its subsidiary Citic Resources Holdings holding a combined 25.2-per cent stake accepted the offer despite speculation that it had been holding out to launch a counter-bid.

PEAMCoal needed to own a minimum of 50.01-per cent of Macarthur to take control of the firm.

"We encourage remaining Macarthur shareholders to accept without delay and improve their chances of receiving the premium A$16.25 per share price," Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal's chief financial officer, said in a statement.