Whitehaven Coal in merger agreement with Aston Resources
Whitehaven Coal and Aston Resources have agreed to a $5.1 billion merger.
With their planned combination, the two companies would have a total output of 27 million tonnes a year by 2015, which would bring the two coal miners on par with the 2010 output of the Australian operations of Peabody Energy.
Whitehaven, which went public in June 2007, is based in Queensland. It reported 1.862 MT coal sales in the September quarter, up by 17 per cent from the previous quarter. In the same quarter, it received an extension of the Rocglen and Werris Creek open-cut mines from the New South Wales government.
Aston, headquartered in Brisbane, has an 85 percent stake in the Maules Creek Project in Western Australia that is highly valued because of its large resources of thermal coal.
Aston Resources and Whitehaven Coal have entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement under which they have agreed to merge via a Scheme of Arrangement. The transaction brings together two highly complementary and growth focused groups, creating a leading independent Australian coal company.
Once the deal completes it will create the largest ASX listed independent coal company in Australia.
This is a transformative and exciting transaction, which maintains Whitehaven’s track record of delivering growth,” Whitehaven’s chairman, John Conde, said in a statement. “The merged entity becomes one of Australia’s leading independent coal producers with a high-quality portfolio of producing mines, major development projects and attractive exploration assets.”
Whitehaven is being advised by Brisbane based law firm McCullough Robertson. Now Queensland’s largest law firm, McCullough Robertson was established in 1926. The company has a history of assisting emerging companies to grow and of supporting and nurturing emerging industries such as life sciences, biotechnology and information technology.
Legal Adviser to Whitehaven
Lead partner and Head of Resources Group, Damien Clarke commented:
“Our team has brought its considerable knowledge and experience of the resources industry to allow both parties to navigate this highly complex and landscape changing deal. This is a transformative and exciting transaction which will create an Australian leading independent coal producer with a high quality portfolio of productive mines, major development projects and exploration assets.”