SYDNEY (AP) -- U.S energy giant Peabody Energy Corp. said Friday it has the approval of a key Australian regulator for its 4.7 billion Australian dollar ($4.9 billion) hostile takeover bid for miner Macarthur Coal Ltd.
Macarthur's board has rejected the joint bid from St. Louis-based Peabody and Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal as undervaluing one of the world's largest producers of pulverized coal coveted by steelmakers.
The joint venture partners' lawyers, Freehills, lodged a notice with the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday stating that the bid had been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
The review board has the power to veto foreign takeovers of Australian companies.
The partners, who already own 16 percent of Macarthur, made a conditional offer of AU$15.50 per share for the company.
Macarthur has told shareholders that the offer remains open until mid-September and is not final. Macarthur also said it is talking with other potential buyers about possible bids.