Whilst the coal sector in Australia is consolidating gains and attracting new investments, Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) is said to have refused an informal approach for a takeover bid but has confirmed it is in discussions with other companies over potential corporate transactions.
The shares in the New South Wales mining company closed at $6.060 on Thursday, down from a high of $6.280 on Wednesday.
The statement made by the company to the Australian Securities Exchange said that it was uncertain if negotiations with third parties would lead to proposals which could be put to the board and shareholders.
Whitehaven did not disclose who it was in discussion with although the US giant Peabody Energy and the mining major Xstrata are being spoken about in market circles. US miner Peabody is seen as a potential bidder after it lost out in the bidding war for Macarthur Coal, while Xstrata is already the world’s largest thermal coal exporter and is looking for fresh coal acquisitions.
The company spokesperson and the Managing Director were unavailable for comment.