Glencore and Sumitomo up stakes in Australian thermal coal assets
On 18 December, Glencore and Sumitomo announced they had reached agreements with Mitsubishi to acquire its shares in the Clermont mine and the Ulan Coal Mines complex for a combined US$530 million (A$750 million). Mitsubishi agreed to sell its 31.4% stake in Clermont to GS Coal a 50:50 joint venture between Glencore and Sumitomo for US$400 million and its 10% stake in Ulan Coal Mines to Glencore for US$130 million. The deal highlights the difference in views about the future for thermal coal. Current high prices have provided Mitsubishi with a good opportunity to complete rebalancing its portfolio away from thermal coal. Meanwhile, Glencore and Sumitomo have elected to boost their thermal coal exposure obviously believing thermal coal remains an attractive proposition. Who will be right remains to be seen. However, based on our analysis, both deals were made at attractive prices.