* 96 percent of shareholders support transaction
* Deal will give access to inexpensive coal
LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Independent shareholders in ENRC approved the Kazakh miner’s proposed $650 million acquisition of the outstanding 75 percent of Kazakh coal producer Shubarkol Komir from its founder investors.
At a meeting on Monday, 96 percent of shareholders voting supported the deal, ENRC said in a statement.
Shareholders - excluding the three founder investors - had been due to vote on the deal in November, but the miner delayed the vote, blaming volatile market conditions and citing shareholder requests. Last month it set a fresh meeting date, after “considerable engagement” with shareholders.
ENRC says the acquisition, for up to $600 million plus assumed debt of around $50 million, will give it access to inexpensive coal for its existing operations and expansion plans, supporting the group’s low-cost profile.
But it is also the first deal with the company’s founder shareholders since it completed a corporate governance review in September, after a bruising disagreement between the founders and some board members.
ENRC acquired a 25 percent stake in Shubarkol for $200 million in cash in 2009, along with a call option on the remainder.