Tinkler pursues Whitehaven Coal bid in wake of share plunge

Former electrician turned mining tycoon Nathan Tinkler has issued a further bid for the remainder of Australia's Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (ASX:WHC), following a 17% plunge in the company's share price since Tinkler's made his initial offer for the company a month ago.

Tinkler's current offer values Whitehaven at $5.5 billion, with a conditional bid of AUD$5.20 in cash for each share of the company. Whitehaven resumed trading today at 23% below Tinkler's bidding price.

Whitehaven is the Sydney-based owner of seven mines in the Australian state of New South Wales, including the coking coal Maules Creek mine, thermal coal operations in Rocglen, and mines in Sunnyside, Vickery, Werris Creek and Tarrawonga.

Analysts say Tinkler's current offer will be contingent upon the Australian mining tycoon's ability to obtain debt funding, with Andrew Driscoll of Hong Kong's CLSA Ltd stating that "he knows the assets very well and would have confidence around the valuation. Companies that have good quality assets and good growth profiles are still very attractive investment propositions."

Coal prices could rise in the near future due to augmenting demand for the commodity on the part of the Chinese, Indian and Japanese steel and energy sectors.

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