EC Won't Review Peabody's Macarthur Bid

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The European Commission will not review the proposed $5.2 billion takeover offer of Macarthur Coal proposed by Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, and ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker. The companies said they had been informed by the commission's directorate general for competition that the EU Merger Regulation does not apply to their offer, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The offer was conditional on the European Commission not claiming jurisdiction in the matter and while that hurdle is out of the way, it still appears difficult to forecast success for Missouri-based Peabody (BTU) and ArcelorMittal (MT) when it comes to winning Macarthur.

Australia-based Macarthur, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal, recently said it was weighing other acquisition offers though no specifics were highlighted. Peabody and ArcelorMittal, Macarthur's second-largest shareholder, have taken their offer directly to the Australian firm's shareholders.

Peabody tried to acquire Macarthur last year on its own for $3.4 billion, but was rejected in its bid to boost its Australian footprint. Peabody has the largest presence in Australia of any U.S. coal company.