Noble buys up Gloucester

NOBLE Group has taken a controlling 57.18% stake in Gloucester Coal, with its takeover offer to close on June 16.

Blair Price

Following orders from the Takeovers Panel, Gloucester has formally withdrawn the Whitehaven merger proposal.

Gloucester said all Whitehaven shares tendered to the company would be returned to their legal owners.

Before raising its bid from $A6 to $7 a share, commodities trader Noble was a 21.7% shareholder of Gloucester. Its bid for the remaining shares in the coal producer is worth $460 million.

Noble also has a 68.5% stake of unlisted producer Donaldson Coal, which operates its namesake open cut mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, along with two bord and pillar underground coal mines, all within 26km of the Port of Newcastle.

Gloucester shares closed at $3.38 on February 19, the day before the initial Whitehaven merger announcement, and are at $6.99 this morning, up 1c.