Australia’s Macarthur Coal has accepted an improved 3.6 billion euros takeover offer from top US mining company Peabody Energy and the world’s biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal.
It is the latest in a series of coal deals in Australia, with firms – particularly from China and India – snapping up mines best positioned to feed booming demand from Asian steel mills.
Macarthur is the world’s biggest producer of pulverised coal which is crushed into a fine powder and injected into blast furnaces, used as a replacement for coke in the production of pig iron.
The company caved in at an offer well below what it pressed for earlier in August, after fending off four takeover attempts in three years.
It was trapped in part by the recent share market turbulence and investor concerns about global growth.
“People are more nervous about China and coal, following the correction in share markets. That also influences what people are prepared to do,” said Peter Chilton, an analyst at Constellation Capital Management.