Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, and ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, have teamed up to make a $5.1 billion acquisition offer for Australia's Macarthur Coal, the world's largest producer of pulverized coal for steel producers.
Macarthur has previously been the subject of intense takeover speculation and Missouri-based Peabody (BTU), which has the largest Australian footprint of any U.S. coal miner, tried to acquire the company last year for $3.8 billion, but was rejected in that takeover attempt.
Teaming with ArcelorMittal (MT) makes sense for Peabody as the steelmaker already owns almost 14% of Macarthur. The two companies have formed a joint venture that will be 60% owned by Peabody to make the bid.
Buying Macarthur would give the pair ownership of mines in Queensland state, the biggest exporter of coal in Australia, according to Bloomberg News. Macarthur controls total coal reserves of 270 million tons and total resources of 2.3 billion tons, Bloomberg reported, citing Macarthur.