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Yanzhou may net Oz's Felix Resources
(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2009-08-11 07:57

China's Yanzhou Coal has reached an agreement with Australian coal miner Felix Resources Ltd on a potential takeover transaction, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday.

"The details and the terms of the agreement are not known yet, but the two parties have reached an agreement," the source said.

The two companies halted trading of their shares amid speculation that China's fourth-biggest coal producer plans a takeover bid for its Australian rival.

Yanzhou Coal may bid A$3.7 billion ($3.1 billion), or "just under" A$20 a share, for Felix, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, without saying where it got the information from.

"The speculated purchase price is high," Martin Wang, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities Ltd, said by phone from Hong Kong. "Yanzhou Coal may have to issue additional shares to raise funds for the acquisition." Felix shares have climbed 92 percent this year to A$16.20.

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Felix, which supplies coal to South Korea and Japan, fell 1.2 percent to A$16.90 on Aug 7, giving the company a value of about A$3.3 billion. Yanzhou dropped 2.6 percent to HK$12.12 before the suspension. Yanzhou Coal shares have more than doubled in Hong Kong trading this year, compared with a 42-percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Talks with Yanzhou Coal have been underway since last year, two people with knowledge of the matter said in March. "Yanzhou was the name that was speculated on earlier this year," said Andrew Harrington, a mining analyst at Patersons Securities Ltd in Sydney. "Reading between the lines, it looks like some kind of deal has been struck."

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