Tags: australia | whitehaven | aston | coal | merge

Coal Merger Down Under: Whitehaven to Buy Aston

Sunday, 11 Dec 2011 06:06 PM

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. agreed to buy billionaire Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Resources Ltd. for A$2.25 billion ($2.3 billion) in shares to create the biggest independent publicly traded coal company in Australia.

The offer values Aston at A$11 a share, 13 percent more than Aston’s closing price on Dec. 9. Sydney-based Whitehaven also said today in the statement that it agreed to buy Tinkler’s closely held Boardwalk Resources Pty for A$499.8 million in shares.

“Aston and Whitehaven have complementary assets and teams that make this transaction a compelling and unique opportunity for both companies,” Whitehaven Managing Director Tony Haggarty, who will also manage the new company, said in the statement. “By combining these assets we can ensure the most economic and sustainable development of the combined coal resources.”

Joining the two companies will combine Aston’s Maules Creek project in the Gunnedah Basin with nearby Whitehaven mines that produced 4.2 million metric tons of coal last year as demand from China and India grows. The combined company will produce about 25 million metric tons of coal during fiscal 2016, Whitehaven said in a presentation.

Aston shareholders will receive 1.89 Whitehaven shares for each of theirs and existing Whitehaven shareholders will receive a special 50 Australian cent dividend.

UBS, Credit Suisse

Aston Resources is being advised by UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG. Whitehaven is being advised by Goldman Sachs Australia Pty. and Grant Samuel and Associates Pty.

Aston’s Maules Creek project, which it bought for A$480 million in February 2010 from Rio Tinto Group, is located within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of Whitehaven’s Narrabri North mine in New South Wales state.

Maules Creek is scheduled to start output in the second quarter of 2013, with production rising to more than 10 million metric tons of semi-soft coking coal used in steelmaking from 2014 and will be using the same rail and port as Whitehaven.


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Whitehaven Coal Ltd. agreed to buy billionaire Nathan Tinkler s Aston Resources Ltd. for A$2.25 billion ($2.3 billion) in shares to create the biggest independent publicly traded coal company in Australia. The offer values Aston at A$11 a share, 13 percent more than Aston...
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Sunday, 11 Dec 2011 06:06 PM
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