New Hope Corp, the Australian thermal coal company, has abandoned plans for a A$6bn ($6.4bn) sale after a five-month auction failed to draw a bid. The FT reports New Hope was put on the block in October after being approached by potential suitors that included Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla and Vedanta Resources, the London-listed resources group controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal. China’s biggest coal producer Shenhua Group was also rumoured to have made an approach. Analysts were not surprised by the termination. They said the price demanded by Mr Millner was too high and that with $1.5bn of cash to fund expansion projects, New Hope, one of the industry’s lowest-cost producers other than Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, was under no pressure to sell. The company is one of the few remaining large coal groups in Australia after a flurry of deals in the past year.
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