This is Peabody’s third attempt to acquire Macarthur Coal, the world’s biggest producer of pulverised coal.
Macarthur earlier rejected a shares-and-cash $3.4bn takeover bid from New Hope saying the offer did not represent an adequate premium for control of the company.
POSCO, a major shareholder of Macarthur, gave its in-principle support for a Peabody takeover while ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel maker and another important shareholder, described the bid as warranting due diligence.
Peabody’s first offer at A$13 (US$12) a share was dismissed by Macarthur at the time as “an indicative, non-binding and highly conditional proposal” and was later improved to A$14 (US$13) a share.
Peabody said the new offer contains fewer conditions than its previous two proposals.
In 2009, Peabody Energy earned revenue of $6bn from sales of 244 million tons.