Coronado kicks off $950 million IPO in Australia

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A coal miner leaves his shift at a coal mine. Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) – US-based Coronado Global Resources Inc kicked off what is set to be Australia’s biggest coal mining float in six years with an IPO that seeks to raise up to A$1.3 billion ($946.1 million) and capitalize on Asian demand for the steelmaking commodity.

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Coronado, which is backed by US private equity firm Energy and Minerals Group (EMG), said in a statement yesterday it filed a prospectus for the IPO that will be priced at between A$4.00 and A$4.80 per share.

The IPO will give the company an enterprise value of up to A$4.4 billion, making it the biggest coal mining float in Australia since Yancoal Australia listed in 2012 at the peak of the country’s mining boom.

“Demand from Asia for met coal, particularly from emerging economies, is expected to be strong and Coronado will be a key supplier to this growth market,” Coronado chairman Greg Martin said in the statement, referring to coal used for steelmaking, also called metallurgical coal.

Connecticut-based Coronado mainly produces metallurgical coal with annual output of 8.2 million tonnes from three US mines and 8.5 million tonnes from the Curragh mine in Australia, which it bought from Wesfarmers Ltd in December for A$700 million.

That makes it one of the biggest metallurgical coal producers outside the big diversified miners, competing with US firm Warrior Met Coal Inc.

It also produces 3.5 million tonnes a year of steaming coal, used for energy generation, at Curragh which it sells to the Queensland state government’s power producer Stanwell Corp.

EMG, which owns 98.7 percent of Coronado now, will own 69 percent of the firm after the IPO. It will retain the stake until at least February 2020, when the shares will be released from escrow, Coronado said.

The proceeds will be used to repay debt and will help the private equity firm realize part of its investments, it said.

“The assets that we have are ready, the size of the company is significant, the operating profile is stable,” Coronado’s chief executive Gerry Spindler said in a telephone interview.

“All of the stars have aligned and we believe the timing is right,” Mr Spindler said.

Metallurgical coal prices are back where they were at the start of the year at around $195 a tonne, having jumped by 20 percent from the start of August when they plumbed a nine-month low.

Global research firm Wood Mackenzie expects metallurgical coal prices to decline in coming years, due to new coal supply and lower Chinese demand.

Coronado expects to post a slight drop in net earnings to $277.2 million for the year ending December 31 2018, as expenses are forecast to offset sales.

Earnings will then increase to $384 million in fiscal 2019, driven by lower costs and higher expected production and sales volumes, the company said.

The IPO opens on Oct. 2 with shares set to be priced around Oct. 19. Trading is then expected to start on Oct. 23, according to the company.

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