Australian coal miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) announced Monday that it will merge with Aston Resources (ASX:AZT), and it will also acquire Boardwalk Resources in a three-way deal valued at $3 billion.
The merger, which has the unanimous support of all three company's boards, will create Australia's biggest independent coal miners. In October, U.S. coal-giant Peabody Energy and India’s ArcelorMittal acquired Macarthur Coal for $5.1 billion.
As part of the deal, Aston Resourcess's shareholders will receive 1.89 Whitehaven shares per Aston share.
Boardwalk Resources will be acquired for 85.88m Whitehaven shares, and an additional 34.02m shares when certain milestones are reached. The total deal values Boardwalk Resources at $697 million.
The newly-merged entity will have a market capitalization of $5.146 billion, leaping ahead of New Hope at $4.824 billion. It will also have over two billion tonnes in resources and 672 million tonnes in reserves.
Being bigger, the company says it will have better flexibility in managing its logistics, a stronger negotiating position with customers, a broader range of coal offerings and lower operating costs due to the company's scale.