Anglo American May Be Interested In Macarthur

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Anglo American Plc, the British mining giant, is rumored to be interested in Macarthur Coal, the Australian coal producer currently being pursued by Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal, for $4.7 billion. After rebuffing Peabody, Macarthur, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal, has said it was holding talks with other suitors.

Those talks have led to no formal offers, but Australian press reports have speculated Rio Tinto (RIO) and China's Yanzhou Coal (YZC), that country's fourth-largest coal miner, may also be interested in Macarthur.

The Australian Financial Review reported that UBS, which is advising Peabody (BTU) may be behind spreading rumors of Anglo American's interest in Macarthur. Anglo American has a reputation in the mining business for being interested in various acquisitions, but never pursuing actual deals.

Peabody, the largest U.S. coal producer, teamed with ArcelorMittal (MT), Macarthur's second-largest shareholder, in an effort to makes its second bid for Macarthur go more smoothly, but that has not been the case this time around.