Macarthur Coal becomes hot property as more buyers enter fray

Macarthur Coal has become the hottest mining property in Australia, with more buyers throwing their hats in the ring for the complex buyout of the coal miner, which has continued to reject all proposals and is sticking to its plan of taking over its smaller domestic rival Gloucester Coal.

The board of Macarthur today said in a statement that the extraordinary general meeting of Macarthur's shareholders scheduled for Monday 12 April 2010 will be postponed by a week to Monday 19 April 2010.

The postponement came after Macarthur learnt that Swiss miner, Xstrata, the world's largest exporter of thermal coal, is also looking to make a bid for it and had approached one of its major shareholders for support.

In the statement Macarthur said, "Macarthur advises that it has become aware that an investment bank representing Xstrata has approached one of the major shareholders in Macarthur."

Without giving any details, Macarthur however said that the talks were "preliminary and highly conceptual."

The Brisbane-based miner said, ''Macarthur has also received feedback from a number of shareholders that they have had insufficient time to properly review the information that has been recently released by Macarthur,'' therefore ''The Board considers that in aggregate these circumstances warrant a decision to provide further time for shareholders to digest the information.''