Walter Energy, in a statement Thursday, said it has agreed to purchase 19.8% of Western Coal's shares from from affiliates of Audley Capital for C$11.50 a share, or a total of about C$630 million ($618.7 million).
Walter Energy said the total enterprise value of the proposal for Western Coal is C$3.3 billion ($3.24 billion).
The offer is a 56% premium to Western Coal's closing price Thursday in Toronto.Walter Energy said a combination with Western Coal would make it the "leading, publicly traded 'pure-play' metallurgical coal producer in the world, with unique and strategic access to steel producing markets in both the Atlantic and Pacific Basins." The combined company, on a pro forma basis, would have total coal reserves of about 385 million tons, Walter Energy said. Western Coal, in a separate press release, said it agreed to work exclusively with Walter until Dec. 1 while due diligence is performed. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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