Corsa will pay $60 million in cash and will assume reclamation and water treatment liabilities totaling approximately $60 million; it will also assume the balance, if any, of $20 million in cash currently used as bonding collateral by PBS Coals to fund reclamation liabilities.
The price tag is just 14% of the total $1 billion the Moscow producer shelled out for the group in 2008.
PBS, headquartered 60 miles from Pittsburgh and 170 miles from the Baltimore port, commenced production in 1963; its current operations include 13 developed mines, three active operations and two preparation plants.
Collectively, the mines sold approximately 2.5 million and 1.7 million tons of premium quality low-volatile met coal in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Its existing assets and infrastructure enable PBS to scale up to 3.5 million tons of saleable metallurgical production per year if market conditions warrant, according to Corsa officials.
Other benefits to the transaction include a complementary infrastructure and customer base, as well as the timing of the takeover during a lower point in the commodity cycle.
“This acquisition is a perfect match for Corsa’s strategic vision of building a low cost, premium-quality metallurgical coal producer,” said Corbin Robertson III, Corsa chairman and co-founder of Corsa’s largest shareholder Quintana Capital Group. “Corsa is now positioned with the asset base and financial flexibility required to capitalize on the company’s ambitious growth plans.”
Corsa President Keith Dyke added that the proximity of PBS’ assets and infrastructure to Corsa’s existing Pennsylvania operations creates considerable synergy and marketing opportunities.
“Adding the PBS metallurgical coal properties improves Corsa’s ability to grow production, lower costs, and better serve our customers domestically and internationally,” he said.
For Severstal, officials said that the sale reflects its commitment to maximize shareholder value creation.
With its current asset portfolio, it added, PBS Coals is a business that was not operationally linked to its steel plants in Russia and the U.S.
“On behalf of Severstal’s management I would like to express gratitude to the whole team of PBS Coals for their commitment, loyalty and dedication in navigating the company through this challenging period for the global coking coal industry,” said Vadim Larin, Severstal first deputy CEO and chief operating officer.
Severstal’s financial adviser on this transaction is Deutsche Bank and its legal adviser is Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Corsa obtained legal and tax advice from Stikeman Elliott LLP, Vinson & Elkins, PennStuart, Fike, Cascio & Boose, Jackson Kelly, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The sale is expected to be complete by mid-August.