New Zealand coal mining company Solid Energy has signed agreements to sell most of its mine assets in the country.

The sales process offered its key mining assets for sale as a whole or in parts.

Successful bidders were announced after a detailed evaluation of their bid values from various asset configurations and all aspects of the possible transactions.

Final agreements were signed with Phoenix Coal Limited, Greenbriar and Birchfield Coal Mines Limited.

Phoenix Coal Limited bought Stockton export coal operations and two Waikato mines in Rotowaro and Maramarua.

"The range of bids are a pleasing response to our efforts to drive improved operating performance across the business."

Greenbriar purchased New Vale and Ohai coal mines in Southland.

Birchfield Coal Mines Limited emerged as the successful bidder for Strongman and Liverpool mines on the West Coast.

All transactions are expected to close by the first half of 2017 and subject to regulatory approvals and fulfilment of customary conditions.

Solid Energy chairman Andy Coupe said: “The range of bids received were generally of a high calibre and are a pleasing response to our efforts to drive improved operating performance across the business. In this regard, I wish to acknowledge the outstanding performance of the senior management team. 

“The successful bidders were those who offered the highest aggregate value realisation for the group of assets assessed as a whole, underpinned by a high degree of confidence in their capability to complete the transactions.”  

Solid Energy incoming CEO Tony King said: “Our expectation is that a good majority of staff will be employed by the new owners, an outcome that Solid Energy has worked hard to achieve.”

The company is also working on a comprehensive transition programme with staff for an orderly winding down of the business.

Coupe stated that some smaller assets are subject to ongoing discussions. The company will inform its stakeholders as it concludes.