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Three firms act on steely deal

Three firms act on steely deal

Three of Australia's leading law firms have announced they are advising on a $4.7 billion bid for Australian mining company Macarthur Coal.The world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal S.A, made…

Three of Australia's leading law firms have announced they are advising on a $4.7 billion bid for Australian mining company Macarthur Coal.

The world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal S.A, made an indicative, nonbinding and conditional proposal to make an off-market takeover bid (jointly with Peabody Energy Corporation) for ASX-listed Macarthur Coal. ArcelorMittal is Macarthur's second-largest shareholder owning 16.2 per cent currently.

Both companies claim their joint bid (offering $15.50 a share) is an improvement over previous offers for Macarthur.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth corporate partners Teresa Handicott, Braddon Jolley, and Jeremy Horwood are advising Macarthur on the latest offer. Macarthur previously rejected a $3 billion takeover bid by Peabody in March 2010, claiming it undervalued the Brisbane-based company. It then spurned another offer by Australian coal mining rival New Hope the following month.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques Sydney-based M&A partners David Friedlander and Greg Golding are advising ArcelorMittal, while partner Robert Hanley, special counsel Joe Newitt and senior associate Jonathan Wood in the firm's London office are allowing 24-hour coverage to its European-based client.

St. Louis-based Peabody is being advised by Freehills M&A partners Tony Damian and Andrew Rich in Sydney.

Buying Macarthur would give the two companies ownership of mines in Queensland, where Macarthur operates in the Bowen Basin. The bidders will likely seek the support of China's Citic Group and South Korea's Posco, which own 22.78 per cent of Brisbane-based Macarthur between them.

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