April 2, 2012 / 12:45 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-ENRC shareholders back Shubarkol Komir deal

* 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.

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