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Business negotiations set to increase within US coal industry?

There may be more merger and acquisition deals in the US coal market than in any other next year.

24 November 2010

The US coal market is set to become the busiest region for merger and acquisition deals, shifting the focus from Asia and Australia.

That is according to the consultancy Wood Mackenzie, which believes all of the mid-sized coal companies in the country could become involved in business negotiations as targets or bidders, the Financial Times reports.

Following the announcement that Massey is set to conduct a review of alternatives that could increase its share market value, it has been predicted the US coal industry will see the highest number of merger and acquisitions taking place next year.

Massey is the fourth largest producer of coal in the country and has recently been under scrutiny after an accident in April at its Upper Branch Mine killed 29 people.

According to the news source, Alpha Natural Resources was among the companies that approaches Massey about a possible bid, with the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittel also reported to be considering making an offer.

Earlier this week, oil company Hess completed sales negotiations that saw it acquire 167,000 acres of oil shale play from TRZ Energy for $1.05 billion (£659 million).

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