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Whitehaven shares surge on Tinkler offer

Whitehaven shares surge on Tinkler offer

Mon July 16, 2012 5:09pm

MINING company Whitehaven Coal's shares have shot up by more than 18 per cent on Monday in response to billionaire Nathan Tinkler's takeover offer made late on Friday.

Whitehaven shares were 64 cents, or 18.55 per cent stronger, at $4.09 at 11.11am AEST.

The formal bid, made after the close of sharemarket trading on Friday, is for $5.20 cash for each Whitehaven share.

He hopes to take the miner under his private control.

The $5.2 billion offer would give Mr Tinkler control over Whitehaven's New South Wales-based coal operations and development  projects in the Gunnedah Basin and Hunter Valley as well as in  Queensland.

Whitehaven Coal is also close to acquiring 100 per cent of Coalworks in a $145.6 million deal.

Coalworks' has coking and thermal coal projects in NSW.

Mr Tinkler is a 36-year-old former electrician from the New South Wales Hunter Valley whose interest in Whitehaven first became public last month.

Doubts were raised at the time about how easily he could strike a deal with Whitehaven's sophisticated major shareholders, including funds such as ACMI and First Reserve.

Mr Tinkler already owns 21.4 per cent of Whitehaven.

Whitehaven said on Friday that it had received an indicative, non-bidding proposal from Tinkler Group to take Whitehaven private by acquiring all of its shares through a scheme of arrangement.

Tinkler Group has advised that 48.3 per cent of Whitehaven shareholders have expressed their interest in rolling their shares into the Tinkler Group bid vehicle, subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence and required documentation.

Tinkler Group's proposal is supported by conditional letters of support from senior lenders UBS, JP Morgan and Barclays and due diligence will now take place over a four-week period.

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