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ArcelorMittal, Posco buy stakes in Oz mining firm

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 ANI

Melbourne, June 30 (ANI): Global steel giants ArcelorMittal and Posco have bought stakes in Macarthur Coal, raising the possibility of a bidding war for the Australian mining company.


ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, has increased its stake in the miner to 19.9 percent, days after talks on a possible takeover ended without a deal. Also, South Korea's steel giant Posco bought 10 percent stake in Macarthur.


ArcelorMittal increased its stake from 14.9 percent to 19.9 percent by paying 204 million dollars for an extra 5 percent from Talbot Group Holdings, owned by Macarthur founder Ken Talbot.


Posco also bought its stake from Talbot, paying 20 dollars a share. Posco said the deal was conditional upon an approval from its board meeting scheduled next month.


Posco said it planned to buy the 10 per cent stake at 20 dollars per share, but the acquisition needs the approval of Macarthur's board; a meeting has been scheduled for July, said Posco official Ko Min-Jin.


In May, Arcelor paid 604 million dollars for a 14.9 per cent stake in Macarthur Coal, but talks with Macarthur to increase this further earlier this month ended without a deal.


The world's biggest steelmaker said the additional 5 per cent stake was obtained from Talbot Group Holdings and amounted to 10.6 million shares at 20 dollars per share.


This brings ArcelorMittal's investment in Macarthur Coal to 843 million dollars; The Australian quoted ArcelorMittal, as saying.


Ken Talbot stepped aside last week as a director of Macarthur Coal, the company he helped turn into the biggest independent miner of its type in Australia.


The latest deal is subject to approval from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board. (ANI)


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