Glencore Said to Draw Liberty House Bid for Australian MineBy , , and
Liberty House made offer through GFG Alliance joint venture
Underground mine produced 1.8m tons of saleable coal last year
Liberty House Group, fresh off a deal for Australian steel mill Arrium Ltd., is among bidders for a Glencore Plc coal mine that could fetch as much as A$500 million ($380 million), people with knowledge of the matter said.
Liberty House’s GFG Alliance joint venture submitted an indicative offer for the Tahmoor mine by the deadline last month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It’s among parties invited by Glencore to evaluate detailed information on the underground metallurgical coal mine ahead of second-round bids, the people said.
GFG Alliance, led by Sanjeev Gupta, plans to study using output from Tahmoor to feed its newly acquired steel plant in South Australia state, one of the people said. The venture last week agreed to buy the assets of Arrium out of administration, including the Whyalla steel works, port and rail infrastructure as well as shuttered iron ore mines. GFG Alliance said in February it will buy Tata Steel Ltd.’s specialty steels business in the U.K. for about $130 million.
While Glencore had been selling assets to fix its balance sheet after a commodity price rout, more recently it switched back to acquisitions through an agreement in February to boost ownership of two Congolese cobalt and copper mines. The commodity giant, led by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, in May made a takeover approach for U.S. grain trader Bunge Ltd., which has a market value of about $11 billion.
A spokesman for Glencore said a number of bidders are moving to the second stage of the sale process, declining to comment further. A representative for GFG Alliance declined to comment.
Glencore in 2016 announced plans to close Tahmoor in New South Wales state, before a surge in prices for metallurgical coal convinced the Swiss company to sell the operation. The mine produced 1.8 million metric tons of saleable coal last year and holds 57 million tons of reserves, according to a statement last month.
Prices for Australian seaborne coking coal have risen about 66 percent in the past year as China restricted output and cyclones disrupted supply in Australia, limiting supply from the world’s biggest exporter. Glencore shares have jumped 73 percent in the past year.
Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is the senior independent non-executive director of Glencore.