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Macarthur Coal abandons AU$ 110 million deal with CITIC Resource Holdings

World Coal,

Macarthur Coal Ltd has abandoned a long-standing AU$ 110 million deal with its biggest shareholder, China’s CITIC Resource Holdings.

The deal to buy CITIC’s ownership and marketing interests in the Coppabella and Moorvale Joint Venture (CMJV) for 11.3 million shares, priced at AU$ 9.70/share, fell through after some minority participants in the venture failed to waive their pre-emptive rights to match Macarthur’s bid for CITIC’s joint venture interests.

In a statement released on its website, CITIC announced: “Following the termination of the transaction, [CITIC] will continue to hold a 17.01% interest in Macarthur Coal, the CMJV Interest and the right to market all coal produced by the CMJV to, amongst others, Chinese customers in the PRC under the CITIC Marketing Agency Agreement.”

Macarthur chief executive, Nicole Hollows, said: “The rationale for the CITIC Transaction remains sound and is in line with the future growth direction and vision of the company to be Australia’s leading independent coal company.” She continued: “Macarthur is committed to review and assess similar opportunities should they arise in the future.”

Macarthur Coal was subject to numerous takeover bids earlier this year, but interest faded after former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd’s proposed mining “super tax”. It is reported that the company may once again become subject to takeover bids after new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, recently reached a compromise on the tax.

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