Gloucester hands out special dividends
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Gloucester Coal will hand out $A95.4 million in special dividends to shareholders from June 25 following court approval of its merger with Chinese-owned Yancoal Australia.
Gloucester's board has increased the special dividend to 47 cents per share from 44 cents originally, which would have involved an $89.3 million payment.
It is the first step in a $A639 million, $A3.15 per share capital return - known as contingent value rights - with the rest to be paid in January.
The miner will also stop trading as Gloucester Coal on the Australian share market on Wednesday, June 27, to be replaced by Yancoal Australia the next day.
Yancoal's parent company, Yanzhou Coal - China's fourth largest coal miner - will control 78 per cent of the new entity.
It is the biggest investment by a Chinese state-owned company in Australia's coal industry, continuing a trend of state-backed firms seeking to shore up China's resource security.
The Supreme Court of Victoria approved the proposed merger between Gloucester Coal and Yancoal Australia on Wednesday.
The new entity will own at least 11 operating thermal and coking coal mines, both underground and open cut and mostly in NSW and Queensland.
Production is expected to increase to between 25 million and 33 million tonnes a year by calendar year 2016, according to Gloucester.
Analysts have raised concerns about Yancoal's high net debt of $A3.9 billion.
Gloucester said debt repayments of just under $US167 million ($A168.41 million) would be due each year for the next three years, while another $A3.04 billion could be extended from 2017-19.
Gloucester's directors remain of the view that this is a better overall result for the merged group, it said in a statement.
Treasurer Wayne Swan and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board have approved the merger, with Chinese regulators still to approve it.
Gloucester shares close nine cents higher at $A7.29 on Thursday.