Waratah courts new suitors

WARATAH Coal has once again rejected Mineralogy’s hostile takeover but says higher bids could be on the horizon as it enters discussions with a “number of interested parties”.

Angie Tomlinson

Australia-based and Toronto-listed Waratah Coal recommended to shareholders on Friday to continue to reject the amended and revised offer from Clive Palmer’s private company, Mineralogy.

Mineralogy’s offer expires on December 3.

“Mineralogy has not increased its offer price of $C1.41 per share, which the board of directors, the special committee and Waratah’s financial advisor, Merrill Lynch Canada Inc, have previously deemed inadequate,” Waratah special committee chairman Howard Stack said.

The special committee said it had been actively pursuing higher bids or more attractive alternative transactions.

It has entered confidentiality agreements with a number of interested parties and says discussions are in progress.

“We are encouraged by the level of interest and have established a data room for the purpose of providing confidential information to interested third parties, and several parties are already accessing the data room,” Stack said.

Waratah plans to develop a new 25 million tonne per annum coal mine, 500km of rail and a new port, worth $A5.3 billion, in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

Waratah said the project would be one of the largest thermal coal projects in Australia.

Waratah also plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Waratah shares closed steady at $C1.30 on the TSX on Friday.

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