Will BHP Buy Walter Energy?

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Buyout buzz in the energy sector continues to be hot on Thursday. Speculation suggests that Australian diversified natural resources company BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) could be interested in buying Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT), a mid-cap American coal company.

Is There Any Merit to these Claims?

“It is market speculation and not something we care to comment on,” said BHP Billiton according to a ShareCast report. However, the market’s speculation has been considerable. Shares of Walter Energy were up over 6 percent in early afternoon trading, adding to a 6.5 percent gain on Wednesday that was likely unrelated.

Walter Energy is a “pure-play” metallurgical coal company, which could make it more attractive to BHP Billiton than thermal coal plays. According to a RenewEconomy report, BHP Billiton recently issued some bearish comments on the thermal coal market…

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