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Linc Energy to Use Cash From Galilee Sale to Expand

Linc Energy Ltd., which sold an Australian coal asset for A$3 billion ($2.7 billion) in cash and royalties to Adani Enterprises Ltd., will use the proceeds to fund expansions and may sell the royalty stream.

“Adani is a strong group -- numerous financial groups would buy that royalty stream off us just to get exposure to Adani,” Linc Chief Executive Officer Peter Bond said in a phone interview today from the company’s headquarters in Brisbane. A partial or complete sale of the royalties is “on the table.”

Adani, India’s biggest coal importer, today agreed to buy the Galilee coal tenement for A$500 million in cash and a royalty of $2 a metric ton for 20 years, equating to A$2.5 billion, Linc said in a statement. The acquisition is the largest by an Indian company in Australia, it said.

Adani rose 2.2 percent to 622.95 rupees at the close of Mumbai trading today. Linc lost 1.6 percent to A$1.86 in Sydney.

The Australian company, whose primary business is underground coal gasification, is exploring for coal and petroleum in South Australia, as well as in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, according to its website. “We have coal, we also have gas, and we have oil that we’re pushing to develop,” Bond said.

India’s thermal-coal imports almost doubled to 60 million tons last year as the nation increased electricity generation capacity to end blackouts and sustain an economy forecast to grow more than 9 percent this fiscal year. India’s economy has expanded by an average 8.4 percent since 2004, straining transport, energy and manufacturing capacity.

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