Peabody said to consider $4 billion deal for Colombian miner Drummond

St. Louis-based mining company Peabody Energy has held talks about acquiring Colombian mining company Drummond International LLC, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal discussed would involve Peabody buying 80 percent of Drummond, Colombia’s top coal exporter, for between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, the Journal reported. The remaining 20 percent would be left to Itochu Corp., a Japanese trading house. It’s unclear how advanced the talks are or whether the two sides will reach a deal.

Peabody, which was forced into bankruptcy in 2016 by a combination of excessive debt and low coal prices, emerged from bankruptcy last year and has seen thermal coal reach its highest price in years.

The company has a market cap of about $4.3 billion, so a proposed deal worth north of $4 billion would significantly expand the miner’s value and global presence.

Last month, Peabody bought an Alabama mine from Drummond for $400 million.

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