• Enea hails ``new chapter'' as power-and-coal group created
  • Bogdanka shares slump most in October as Enea's offer ends

Enea SA moved closer to completing its 1.48 billion-zloty ($400 million) purchase of Poland’s biggest privately-owned coal miner when shareholders of Lubelski Wegiel Bogdanka SA overwhelmingly agreed to sell the company.

Poland’s 4th-biggest utility said more than 64.57 percent of Bogdanka owners responded to its public bid, exceeding the 50 percent threshold needed to make the transaction valid. Enea now needs antitrust approval to complete the acquisition of its largest coal supplier. Bogdanka’s shares dropped 3.9 percent to 59.85 zloty at 4:36 p.m. in Warsaw, set for the biggest decline since Sept. 30 and compared with Enea’s 67.39 zloty offer.

The Poznan-based power producer, which said it’s buying as much as a 66 percent stake in Bogdanka to secure cheap coal supplies, may also be interested in state-owned miner Katowicki Holding Weglowy SA, daily Rzeczpospolita reported last month. The move comes at a time when coal prices declined to the lowest in at least eight years and Poland’s government is trying to rescue the loss-making state coal industry with the help of utilities, including biggest power producers PGE SA and Tauron Polska Energia SA.

“Decisions made by Bogdanka shareholders open a new charter in the mine’s history,” Enea Chief Executive Officer Krzysztof Zamasz said in an e-mailed statement. “Joining a combined power and coal group, which Enea is becoming, guarantees further development for Bogdanka.”

Antitrust regulator UOKiK said in an e-mailed statement on Friday that Enea won’t have to wait “too long” to get the watchdog’s decision.

Enea’s bid, which was made at the lowest possible price under Polish law, came after the power producer canceled a long-term supply contract with the miner, lowering Bogdanka’s valuation to as low as 33.49 zloty on Aug. 26.

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