U.S.-based Peabody Energy has filed a formal complaint with Australian regulators over Macarthur Coal Ltd.'s handling of a $3.3 billion takeover offer that Macarthur rejected this week.
Peabody complained to the Takeovers Panel that Macarthur, a major exporter of pulverized coal used by steelmakers, failed to provide shareholders with relevant information, the Takeovers Panel said in a statement on Thursday. The bid was Peabody's second after Macarthur rejected a lower offer last month.
Peabody asked the government to order Macarthur to postpone a shareholders meeting scheduled for next Monday to consider Macarthur's own bid to take over a rival miner, New South Wales state-based Gloucester Coal Ltd.
The Takeovers Panel said it had yet to decide on its response to Peabody's complaint. The agency is part of Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Peabody, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the world's biggest coal producers. It is part of a wave of foreign investors that want to buy into Australia's mining and resource industries in hopes of profiting from demand from a resurgent global steel industry and other customers.
Peabody says the failure to provide the information prevented Macarthur shareholders from comparing the relative merits of the Peabody bid against the proposed Gloucester deal.
Macarthur rejected a takeover offer from Peabody last month of 13 Australian dollars per share for the Brisbane-based company. Peabody raised its offer to 14 Australian dollars, which Macarthur rejected on Wednesday. The company said its board had decided not to postpone the meeting Monday.
Peabody told the panel that if the Macarthur board continued to recommend the Gloucester takeover, despite the revised Peabody bid, then it should provide detailed reasons.
It said the shareholders meeting should also be postponed to a date that is not less than 10 business days after the date on which Macarthur dispatches the additional information.
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