Peabody Energy gets full control of Macarthur Coal

Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, yesterday said that it has increased its stake in Macarthur Coal to 90 per cent and would begin the compulsory acquisition of all outstanding shares of the Australian thermal coal producer.

Peabody is also increasing its offer for Macarthur by $100 million, to almost $5 billion, as part of its earlier terms. The company had said it would raise its bid to $16.52 a share from $16.27 a share if it gained a 90-per cent stake in Macarthur.

"We are very pleased to be acquiring 100 per cent of Macarthur shares, which brings clear strategic and financial benefits," said Peabody Energy chairman and CEO Gregory Boyce.

"Peabody welcomes Macarthur employees into the Peabody team, and looks forward to completing operational improvements, accelerating the realisation of synergies and advancing Macarthur's growth pipeline," he added.

The offer under the takeover bid will not be extended further, and will end on 25 November 2011.

South Korean steelmaker POSCO, which holds a 7.25-per cent stake in Macarthur, will be forced to sell its shares to Peabody.