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New bid for Universal Coal

Published by
World Coal,

Universal Coal has received a conditional proposal to acquire all of the ordinary shares in the company for AUS$0.25 per share. The new offer by represents a 56.25% increase on a previous offer, which shareholders had been recommended to reject, of AUS0.16 per share made by Ichor Coal – an offer than had been judged “not fair or reasonable” by Universal’s independent directors.

According to the press release, the company's independent directors believe the new offer, which comes from an unnamed party, to be credible and, subject to certain conditions, they “intend to support the proposal and, together with their advisors, are working with to assist in the facilitation of the making of a formal offer by late November.”

Until the formal offer is received, the independent directors continue to advise shareholders to take no action.

The company also said that it had received another cash offer from a another party on 22 September for AUS$0.20. The independent directors have now written to this party to advise that they are unlikely to be able to recommend a formal offer.

“The efforts of the independent directors will now be focused on the AUS$0.25 per share proposal,” said the company.

Universal Coal coal projects in South Africa contain over 2 billion t of JORC coal resources at three locations in the Witbank coalfield (Kangala, Roodekop and Brakfontein), as well as two metallurgical coal assets in the Soutpansberg and Tuli coalfields (Berenice-Cygnus and Donkin-Somerville).

Its first operating mine – the Kangala mine – was commissioned in March 2014. To June 2015, the mine produced 2.47 million t of ROM coal with total sales of 1.68 million t – the vast majority of which went to domestic customers.

The company is also currently developing the New Clydesdale Colliery (NCC) with the aim of becoming a multi-mine producer of coal. NCC – which is 48% owned by Universal – contains JORC resource of 165.4 million t of coal.

CORRECTION: the original article stated that Ichor Coal had raised its bid to AUS$0.25 per share. This was incorrect. The Ichor Coal bid remains at AUS$0.16 per share.

Edited by .

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