Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend

THIS week Stanmore Resources pulled off the coal deal of the decade with its offer to buy 80% of BHP Mitsui Coal for just US$1.35 billion. Ironically, the company has climate change activists like teenager Greta Thunberg to thank for it.
Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend Thunberg is Stanmore's best friend

Stanmore Resources has pulled off the coal deal of the decade with its offer to buy 80% of BHP Mitsui Coal for just US$1.35 billion.

Thunberg's COP26 coal criticism in Glasgow last week and more generally over the past few years has made coal really unpopular with governments and large corporations keen to clean up their image.

BHP is being pressured to follow Rio Tinto's lead and get out of coal altogether.

So, BHP decided to sell its South Walker Creek and Poitrel mines as well as the nearby Wards Well exploration project in Queensland, which sit in its BMC stable.

This is being seen as the company's first sacrificial offering. Its explanation for the divestment was that it wanted to focus on producing only high-quality metallurgical coal.

The directors of Stanmore could not believe their luck.

If their acquisition of BMC is successful, the transaction will lead to Stanmore increasing its met coal production by 5.6 times, increasing its marketable coal production by 4.2 times, and its metallurgical coal resources 5.1 times.

It also gives Stanmore the opportunity to realise potential synergies identified between its existing assets and the BMC assets, including access to available infrastructure, extra coal preparation and train loading capacity to support its Millennium's expansion, product blending opportunities, and other operational and project related savings.

The transaction includes the added benefit of inheriting an experienced workforce and management team so operations can be seamlessly transitioned under the revised ownership structure.

Hogsback has studied the financial metrics of the deal and concluded the small junior company that famously bought its Isaac Plains mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin for $1 has snapped up three quality met coal assets for extreme bargain basement prices and very quick payback times. 

Once again Stanmore shareholders have Thunberg and her ilk for the prospect of fantastic returns once the acquisition goes ahead, because metallurgical coal prices have been soaring in the past few months as demand outstrips supply.

Financial institutions and banks have decided they do not want to sully their do-gooder image by lending for new coal projects and in the process have helped worsen a global energy shortage that has led to untold suffering to the impoverished by creating energy inflation.

Stanmore will take charge of BMC at the best possible time and reap the higher prices. It will be buying the assets on an enterprise value to earnings ratio on a trailing 12-month basis of 6.9 times.

That in itself is incredibly cheap, however, this figure includes the earnings for most of the 2020-21 year when met coal prices were still subdued.

When you look at the potential earnings of BMC on annualised basis, which includes the met coal price hike of the September quarter, the enterprise value to earnings ratio is only 2.2 times.

So, in a little over two years, Stanmore's acquisition of the two BMC world class assets could have paid for themselves.

Not bad for a little junior company that sees a bright future in coal.