Peabody Energy Corp. (USOTC:BTUUQ)
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Thailand's PTT PCL (PTT.TH) is considering a bid for Peabody Energy Corp.'s (BTU) Wilkie Creek coal mine in Australia, estimated to be worth between A$500 million and A$750 million, two people familiar with the matter said Friday.
PTT is reviewing data on the mine in the Surat Basin of southeast Queensland state ahead of a deadline for non-binding, preliminary offers on April 23, the people said.
An information memorandum on Wilkie Creek, which annually produces around 2 million metric tons of thermal coal for export to Asia and has a resource of more than 500 million tons, was sent to potential bidders late last month.
Peabody hired UBS AG (UBS) earlier this year to advise on the sale of Wilkie Creek, which it considers to be non-core following its A$4.9 billion acquisition of Macarthur Coal Ltd. last year.
PTT dipped a toe into overseas coal exploration when completing the acquisition of Straits Resources' coal business--focused around assets in Indonesia, Brunei and Madagascar--for 16 billion Thai baht (US$520 million) last year.
That deal forms part of PTT's target of increasing coal output to 30 million tons over five years, from 3 million tons in 2010.
-By David Winning, Dow Jones Newswires; +61-2-82724688; email@example.com