Aston investors tick Whitehaven takeover for Tinkler
AUSTRALIA’S youngest billionaire, Nathan Tinkler, became substantially richer after shareholders approved a friendly takeover of his Aston Resources by Whitehaven Coal in a two-part deal to create a $5.1 billion coal miner. The deal was approved at a scheme meeting [...]
AUSTRALIA’S youngest billionaire, Nathan Tinkler, became substantially richer after shareholders approved a friendly takeover of his Aston Resources by Whitehaven Coal in a two-part deal to create a $5.1 billion coal miner.
The deal was approved at a scheme meeting in Brisbane on Monday and will create Australia’s largest listed independent coal company.
Mr Tinkler, 36, and a former coal mine electrician, holds a 32 per cent stake in Aston, which the takeover values at about $720 million.
Shareholders also approved Whitehaven’s acquisition of Mr Tinkler’s unlisted company Boardwalk Resources for around $491 million in Whitehaven shares.
The transactions remains subject to approval of the Federal Court of Australia at a hearing on 18 April.
The takeover combines Whitehaven’s five open cut mines and Aston’s 85 per cent held undeveloped Maules Creek project, all in NSW’s Gunnedah Basin.
Whitehaven also has an 11 per cent interest in the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, which operates the Port of Newcastle’s second dedicated coal terminal.
The deal will tip the production balance in favour of higher priced metallurgical coal, ahead of Whitehaven’s thermal coal.
Aston deputy chairman Mark Vaile told the meeting that the transaction brought together two highly complementary and growth-focused groups.
Whitehaven managing director Tony Haggarty said the tie-up created an entity with a greater ability to attract top-shelf staff, pursue growth opportunities and develop its pipeline of assets.
When the deal was announced in December, Mr Tinkler noted the rapidly consolidating Australian listed coal sector and said the transaction gave Aston shareholders exposure to a larger and more diversified portfolio of coal mines.
All going to plan, implementation of the scheme is slated to occur on 2 May.
Whitehaven’s acquisition of Boardwalk, an unlisted public company, is conditional on the Aston takeover proceeding.
Boardwalk is set to earn a 50 per cent stake Coalworks’ Ferndale coal project in NSW.
Boardwalk is also the biggest shareholder in listed coal explorer Coalworks Ltd with a stake of about 17 per cent.
Shares in Whitehaven inched one cent higher to $6.01 while Aston shares were steady at $10.23. - AAP