During mid-April, Peabody Energy raised its bid for Macarthur Coal Ltd. to A$16/share from A$14/share, valuing the company at A$4.1 billion ($3.8 billion). Meanwhile New Hope added a cash element to its previous all-stock offer. Noble Group shareholders voted against selling their stake in Gloucester Coal to Macarthur, eliminating the primary obstacle in the way of both the Peabody and New Hope takeover bids. Peabody began its pursuit of Macarthur during late March. The company is a leading Australian-based producer of low-volatile PCl metallurgical coal, controlling 145 million tons of reserves and 1.3 billion tons of resources. Its current production capacity stands at more than 5 million tons per year, with growth potential from mines in development. Peabody believes there is a strong strategic rationale for a combination of Macarthur's operating assets and project pipeline with Peabody's growing Australian platform of metallurgical and thermal coal production.

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