SYDNEY. Australia (
) -- A third suitor has joined the fight to acquire
, but the Australian miner rejected the bid, saying the offer didn't represent an "adequate premium for control of the company."
The new $3.4 billion bid came from rival Australian miner
, which has joined the bidding war for Macarthur with U.S. coal miner
and Noble Group, a Hong Kong-based commodities company.
Earlier this week, Macarthur rejected an
from Peabody Energy valued at about $3.3 billion, saying the Peabody offer remains below the price analysts think the company is worth.
Macarthur has been pursuing its own bid for smaller Australian rival
. A key part of Peabody's offer required that Macarthur drop its plan for Gloucester Coal.
Macarthur's board was expected to meet Monday to vote on the Noble deal. Under that deal, Noble would sell certain Australian mining assets, particularly an 88% stake in Gloucester Coal, in return for a 25% stake in Macarthur.
Macarthur's board has recommended the Noble deal.
But reports from
Friday say Macarthur will delay the voting for a week after Macarthur said it was aware that mining giant
had approached one of its major shareholders.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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