BREAKFAST DEALS: Whitehaven restraint

Whitehaven checks its optimism on an Aston Coal tie-up, while Qantas could win in Sydney Airport's restructure.

Demand from China and India for Australian coal does, in some respects, have a limit. While Macarthur Coal and New Hope have found bidders, Whitehaven has been left empty-handed, forced to return to talks with Aston Resources and the savvy dealmaker Nathan Tinkler. Discussions over a ‘merger of equals’ could prove to be the multi-millionaire’s greatest challenge, but already attention is shifting to how Tinkler could use this play to his advantage. Meanwhile, Qantas Airways is reportedly set to get a nice payout from the proposed restructure of Sydney Airports – although higher terminal costs are on the carrier’s horizon. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto has snapped up a greater share of tenements next to Oyu Tolgoi and put another underline beneath Ivanhoe Mines in the process, the ABC has won the Australia Network contract for the government after an embarrassing series of leaks, and Kerry Stokes looks to have finally won over Dale Elphinstone.

Whitehaven Coal, Aston Resources, Nathan Tinkler

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