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Record Coal Deals Whittle Targets as Prices Climb: Commodities

Record coal deals this year have slashed the number of potential targets in Australia, the world’s largest exporter. The combination of Whitehaven Coal Ltd. and Aston Resources Ltd. looms as the last prize standing.

Rising demand in China and India has pushed mergers and acquisitions globally to a record $34.5 billion this year, with 192 companies acquired, compared with $30.3 billion last year. Australian deals reached an all-time high this month when Whitehaven agreed to buy billionaire Nathan Tinkler’s Aston, to create a company valued at A$5.1 billion ($5.1 billion).