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Widjaja family's consortium seeks private credit for mine deal

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Widjaja family's consortium seeks private credit for mine deal
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A consortium led by Golden Energy and Resources is sounding out private credit funds and banks to gauge interest in financing its US$1.65 billion acquisition of a coal mine in Australia, according to people familiar with the matter.  

The acquiring entity, GEAR M Illawarra Met Coal, has mandated Grant Samuel as an adviser in its fundraising talks for the deal to acquire Illawarra Metallurgical Coal from Australia-based South32, said the people who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. 

Golden Energy, controlled by Indonesia’s Widjaja family, owns a 70% stake in GEAR M Illawarra Met Coal, while M Resources holds the remaining 30%. It was privatised from a listing on the Singapore Exchange S68 -

last September.

If the deal proceeds with private funding, it will be the latest example of direct lenders stepping in to fill the spots left vacant by banks that are more tightly scrutinizing environmentally questionable projects. 

GEAR M Illawarra Met Coal has yet to formally circulate an official request for proposal to lenders, the people said. 

The proposed deal includes an upfront cash payment of US$1.05 billion at the time of its completion, deferred cash payment of US$250 million payable in 2030, and a contingent price-linked cash component of up to US$350 million, according to a filing by South32 last month when the sale was announced. 

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The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2025, subject to regulatory approvals, it said.

Golden Energy didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. M Resources declined to comment. Grant Samuel declined to comment. 

Golden Energy is no stranger to the private credit market. Stanmore Resources, an Australian metallurgical company that Golden Energy controls, last year sought a US$1.1 billion loan, including a US$750 million private credit portion, to back its bid for BHP Group’s Daunia coal mine. 

Whitehaven Coal eventually emerged as the winner for Daunia and another mine. To finance the deal, Whitehaven received a US$1.1 billion loan from a group of lenders — including 17 private credit providers but only one bank.  

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