NEW YORK Shares of Walter Energy Inc jumped more than 21 percent Wednesday after a report suggested that Anglo American was weighing a bid for the metallurgical coal miner.
The Times of London newspaper said in its market report on Wednesday that there were rumors of a bid for Walter by diversified mining group Anglo American.
In the report, Anglo was said to be weighing an offer for Walter, pitched at $120 a share, and would discuss the matter over the weekend.
However, analysts at London broker Liberum Capital called such an offer "unlikely," citing Anglo's minimal presence in U.S. coal markets.
Walter's stock closed up $15.99 at $90.98 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Birmingham, Alabama-based Walter said it was not aware of any corporate developments to account for the surge.
"The company's policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly does not intend to comment further," it said in a statement.
Anglo American was not immediately available for comment.
Shares of Walter, which mines coal used in the steelmaking process, fell sharply in August after the company reported a disappointing second-quarter profit and lowered production estimates for the rest of the year.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Michael Erman, Additional reporting by Rosalba O'Brien in London; Editing by John Wallace, Maureen Bavdek and Richard Chang)