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Apollo secures exclusivity for Anglo's Australian coal assets

Aconsortium led by Apollo GlobalManagement LLC has reportedly secured exclusivity to acquireAnglo American Plc'sQueensland metallurgical coal assets, TheAustralian Financial Review's Street Talk reported Oct. 3, citing sources.

Lendersources estimated a deal to buy the Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines, which are expected toyield more than $1billion, could be signed within the next two weeks.

AngloAmerican recently reassessed the value of the assets amid the spike in globalcoking coal prices, with the coal assets reportedly valued at about US$1.5billion.

ApolloGlobal was previously tipped as the leading bidder for Anglo American's Moranbah andGrosvenor metallurgical coal mines, in early August.

Theprivate equity firm is said to have tabled a very competitive final offer forthe mines, which was subject to financing, but would only arrange the financingonce its offer was approved by Anglo American.

DespiteApollo being in final-stage discussions, sources noted that andUS-based Coronado CoalLLC had not withdrawn from the auction, with investors and analystsexpressing support for BHP if it succeeds in securing Anglo's coal assets, thepaper wrote.

ApolloGlobal Management LLC is joined in the consortium by coal exporter ,founded by Ernie Thrasher and Chris Cline.