Canada's Lassonde 'mystified' by Teck choice of Glencore bid for coal unit

FILE PHOTO: Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual conference in Toronto

By Divya Rajagopal

TORONTO (Reuters) -Canadian businessman Pierre Lassonde on Wednesday said he is "mystified" by Teck Resources' decision to sell its coal unit to a Glencore-led consortium for $9 billion because his group had bid the same price.

"We put together an offer that was very, very competitive, it was in the best interest of Teck shareholders, Canada... the employees," Lassonde said in an interview.

"And it was a holistic solution with the same price tag."

On Tuesday, Teck agreed to sell its steelmaking coal unit to the group led by Switzerland-based Glencore.

Lassonde said his consortium included Fairfax Financial Holdings founder Prem Watsa and Stelco Holding CEO Alan Kestenbaum, both in their individual capacities. Their offer was credible and comparable to what Teck's board accepted from Glencore, he said.

ITeck, in an email statement, said the company had undertaken an extremely thorough and competitive process that clearly identified this (Glencore) transaction as the best option for its shareholders and all stakeholders, creating significant benefits for Canada and British Columbia.

"Due to confidentiality agreements, we cannot discuss the specifics of other discussions," a spokesperson for the company said.

Watsa and Kestenbaum did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Divya Rajagopal; Editing by Denny Thomas, Cynthia Osterman and Bill Berkrot)