New Hope coy on buying Wesfarmers' stake in Bengalla as coal price lifts earnings


New Hope coy on buying Wesfarmers' stake in Bengalla as coal price lifts earnings
  1. New Hope coy on buying Wesfarmers' stake in Bengalla as coal price lifts earnings
    theage.com.au
    A lift in the coal price coupled with a transformational acquisition has pushed earnings of Soul Pattinson's coal mining arm, New Hope, sharply…
    Football

New Hope Corp, the coal mining arm of investor Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co, has refused to rule out buying Wesfarmers' stake in the Bengalla coal mine, as it continues to review acquisition opportunities in the coal industry.

New Hope, and Wesfarmers, the conglomerate with interests ranging from Coles and Bunnings in retailing, through to chemical and fertiliser manufacturing, each hold a 40 per cent stake in the Bengalla mine in the Hunter Valley.

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A year ago, New Hope paid Rio Tinto $865 million for its 40 per cent shareholding in Bengalla, just before the price of coal surged, which has helped to rewrite New Hope's fortunes.

"The timing of the Bengalla acquisition has been pivotal to the result," New Hope's managing director Shane Stephan said when commenting on his group's profit surge in the six months to January, which was released earlier on Tuesday.

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"There is no shortage of assets on the market at the moment," he said, while refusing to comment on any interest he has in acquiring the Wesfarmers stake in the Bengalla mine.

Wesfarmers is believed to have its coal interests in the market, which include its stake in Bengalla and full ownership of the Curragh mine, which produces coking coal and steaming coal.

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