Treger triggers £2bn bid

David Hellier
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JULIAN Treger, the well known shareholder activist, has triggered the sale of the Aim
market’s largest company Western Coal by agreeing to sell a 23.5 per cent stake in it to Walter Energy, the US coal company.

Treger, who came off the board of Western Coal last month, owned the stake through one of his funds, the Audley European Opportunities Master Fund.

Treger has agreed to sell 40 per cent of his shareholding now for cash, with the rest later subject to him getting a higher offer from another buyer.

If the sale of his entire holding goes through at the current price he will have netted £530m from an investment that cost only around £20m three years ago.

Walter Energy has said it wants to buy Western Coal for $11.50 a share, valuing it at $3.3bn (£2.06bn), more than any other Aim company.

Western Coal says it sold three million tonnes of coal last year but expects to get to six million tonnes by this year. It is being advised in the UK by Nick Wells at Cenkos Securities.