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Mitsubishi accepts Yancoal's US$710M offer for Hunter Valley ops stake

Mitsubishi Corp.'s Mitsubishi Development Pty. Ltd. unit accepted Yancoal Australia Ltd.'s US$710 million tag-along offer for the former's 32.4% interest in the Hunter Valley coal operations in New South Wales, Australia.

The offer fulfills the Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. unit's obligations under its US$2.45 billion purchase agreement for Rio Tinto's Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. subsidiary, which in turn holds the remaining 67.6% interest in the asset.

In addition, Mitsubishi agreed to grant Yancoal a call option to buy its 28.9% interest in the Warkworth operation, also in New South Wales, for US$230 million.

The parties, meanwhile, struck a deal for Mitsubishi to provide exclusive agency arrangements for thermal coal sales into Japanese power utilities.

The Mitsubishi transaction is conditional on the completion of the Coal & Allied Industries deal, as well as the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, Yancoal said June 12.

In a separate June 11 release, Yancoal noted that it secured approval from China's National Development and Reform Commission for the Coal & Allied Industries transaction.

It also acknowledged Glencore Plc's US$2.55 billion counterbid for the asset.

"If Rio Tinto determines that the Glencore proposal is a superior proposal, Yancoal will have a right to match or better that proposal," the company said.