U.S.-based Peabody Energy, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal acquire controlling interest in Macarthur Coal for a price reportedly in excess of US$5B; companies now control nearly 60% of Australian coal company

LUXEMBOURG , October 24, 2011 () – Peabody Energy Corp and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal say they have acquired controlling interest in an Australian coal company for a price reportedly in excess of $5 billion (euro3.62 billion).

Peabody — the U.S.-based world's largest private-sector coal company — and ArcelorMittal — the world's largest steelmaker — said Monday they now control nearly 60 percent of the shares of Macarthur Coal Ltd, and will appoint representatives to the Macarthur board.

Macarthur is a major producer of pulverized coal, which is coveted by steel producers.

PEAMCoal Pty Ltd, the holding company now controlling 59.85 percent of the Macarthur shares, is 60 percent owned by Peabody and 40 percent owned by ArcelorMittal.

Peabody and ArcelorMittal have said the AU$16 ($16.65) per share offer price will increase to AU$16.25 if they gain interest in at least 90 percent of Macarthur shares by Nov. 11.

With 90 percent support, they can compel remaining shareholders to sell, the companies have said.

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