Polish mining giant JSW eyeing acquisitions

By bne IntelliNews February 12, 2013

bne -

Polish coking coal giant Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa (JSW) is once more sniffing around assets in its neighbourhood, and is eyeing the stalled Debiensko mine project, owned by Czech peer New World Resources, according to its CEO.

"We analyse what are the potential acquisition targets around us," Jaroslaw Zagorowski said, according to Reuters. "The cheapest way to develop coal reserves is to buy ready projects. We are looking at what is going to happen with Debiensko."

JSW, the largest coking coal producer in the EU, is said to have previously eyed NWR's Polish assets, as well as Polish rival Bogdanka. It was also reported to be mulling a full merger last year with the Czech miner, which is controlled by coal king Zdenek Bakala.

Asked whether state-controlled JSW is looking at buying Debiensko from NWR or cooperating on the project, Zagorowski replied: "For the time being we do not have a model of that." NWR initially planned to start production at Debiensko in 2017, but work was stopped at the site in 2012 to rethink the project. NWR shares strengthened 1.43% to CZK85 in Prague on the news.

Zagorowski also said that while JSW is yet to thrash out all the numbers from its fourth-quarter performance, low coking coal prices are set to take effect. However, he suggested that the market has hit bottom and that the first quarter of 2013 is seeing stabilization, with pricing growth to come in the following quarters.

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