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Teck receives several proposals for coal unit amid Glencore takeover bid


By Divya Rajagopal

TORONTO (Reuters) -Teck Resources said on Tuesday it has received several proposals for its steelmaking coal business, without revealing if one included a revised offer from Swiss trading and mining firm Glencore which launched its takeover bid for the Canadian miner over two months ago.

Vancouver-based Teck said in a statement its board will evaluate all “actionable, value-accretive proposals” before making a decision, noting that a transaction is not guaranteed.

It did not reveal the names of interested parties, or whether it includes an offer from Glencore.

Glencore declined to comment on Tuesday when asked if it has presented a revised offer to Teck’s board or its shareholders.

Teck’s coal mines are among the few left in the world, which makes it attractive to Glencore as it seeks to combine them with its own thermal coal business. Glencore has said that it would consider buying Teck’s coal business alone.

Reuters previously reported that Canadian mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde is forming a consortium to buy a stake in Teck’s coal business, while Japanese steel maker Nippon Steel Corporation has also said it is in talks with Teck to invest in the coal business.

A partial or full sale of Teck’s coal business would end Glencore’s effort to revive its $22 billion offer for Teck, which the Canadian company has rebuffed twice. In its latest revised offer on April 11, Glencore offered to pay $8.2 billion in cash for Teck’s coal business to shareholders, a valuation in-line with what analysts’ estimates.

In late April, Teck withdrew the plan to split its copper and coal business after failing to secure enough shareholder support, and promised to present a “simpler and more direct” split. Glencore had told Teck’s shareholders that if they rejected Teck’s proposed split it will put forward a sweetened offer, which is yet to materialize.

Teck shares rose 3% to C$57.16 at end of Tuesday’s trade.

Lassonde told Reuters in a text message on Monday that there are many Canadians who have been “incredibly supportive” to keep Teck’s coal business in Canadian hands. But he declined to give details of his consortium members saying the parties have signed a confidentiality agreement.

Teck CEO Jonathan Price in a statement to Reuters said Lassonde does not speak for Teck and does not have an informed view of the intentions for Teck’s steelmaking coal business.

For Teck any investment will be ultimately signed by the Keevil family, which founded Teck, and control company via dual class shareholding.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy, Divya Rajagopal; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Richard Chang and Marguerita Choy)

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