Given the length of time it took Peabody Energy to get Macarthur Coal into the boat and the many failed attempts by other coal companies to find a willing buyer, the speed at which current deals are taking place is breathtaking. By all reports, Gloucester Coal and Yancoal Australia are in early discussions, but some indications are emerging that an $8 billion merger proposal could be done and dusted before Christmas. Meanwhile, Insurance Australia Group was poised to make a big bid for Malaysia’s Kurnia Asia after all – shareholders will be glad to know they weren’t taken for a ride on this deal. Elsewhere, the Australian M&A sector in 2012 is shaping up as another year for private equity, rumours are starting to seep out of Macquarie Bank over its banking and financial services division, and Alliance Airlines is finally off the ground.
Gloucester Coal, Yancoal Australia, Noble Group