JP Morgan, Thai miner Banpu buy stake in Australia's Centennial Coal

Thailand's biggest coal miner, Banpu PCL BANP said yesterday that it had bought a 14.9-per cent stake in Australian miner Centennial Coal, while J P Morgan has taken another 10 per cent.

While confirming the deal today, Centennial said that Banpu had acquired a long term strategic but did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

Shares of Centennial jumped more than 20 per cent to $4.82 in early trade today after JP Morgan also took a 10-per cent stake at a reported 25-per cent premium to yesterday's closing price of $3.99.

It is not clear if JP Morgan has acquired the stake as a proxy for another buyer so it could launch a takeover of the company.
JP Morgan also took a 5.04 per cent stake yesterday in Perth miner Cape Lambert Resources.

Founded in 1989, Centennial is a coal mining and marketing company supplying thermal and coking coal to the domestic and export markets. The Company sells approximately 30-35 per cent of its coal into the export market and is a major fuel supplier to the New South Wales energy industry.

The Sydney-based miner is the largest independent coal company in Australia in terms of production and has nine coal mines in New South Wales, making it one of the largest underground coal producers in the state.