THREE NATIONAL firms advised on the sell down by Macarthur Coal of its central Queensland coal assets to China’s CITIC Group and several Japanese companies.
Macarthur Coal sold an aggregate 16.7 per cent interest in the Olive Downs North coal assets and 26.7 per cent interest in Moorvale Pits C & D to subsidiaries of CITIC Group and Japanese companies Nippon Steel, Marubeni, Sojitz and JFE Shoji.
The coal deposits are located 156km south-west of the coastal town of Mackay.
Allens Arthur Robinson lawyers Andrew Knox and Tom Boyd advised the Japanese parties. Mallesons Stephen Jaques’ Perth lawyers David Perks and Michael Berkeley-Hill advised CITIC.
The buyers are existing members of the Coopabella and Moorvale Joint Venture, in which Macarthur Coal is a majority shareholder, retaining 73.3 per cent.
The law firm said the transaction was complicated by the fact there were two sellers, five buyers and a total of eight separate sale agreements.
In addition, the transaction involved the carving out of the Olive Downs North assets from the Olive Downs Joint Venture and the unification of those assets with the Coppabella and Moorvale Joint Venture.
Bruce Adkins and Tig Pocock of Corrs’ Brisbane office advised Macarthur Coal on the transaction.
“This deal was strategically quite important to Macarthur Coal. The sell-down of the interests in Olive Downs North and Moorvale Pits C & D, and the unification of those assets with the existing Coppabella and Moorvale Joint Venture, will enable Macarthur Coal to move forward with its plans to develop the new Olive Downs North coal mine as a satellite to the Moorvale mine at some point in the future,” said Adkins.
“This will utilise existing capacity in the Moorvale washplant and rail loading facilities and thereby minimise the capital cost of the Olive Downs North mine.
“Also, the additional reserves in Moorvale Pits C & D will extend the life of the Moorvale mine.”
Macarthur Coal CEO, Nicole Hollows, said in a statement to the ASX: “The sale aligns ownership of two neighbouring projects to provide a great opportunity for the low-cost development of additional coal resources. The unified ownership structure will increase operating flexibility, provide additional coal blending opportunities and streamline administration.”