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Veteran mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde said on Wednesday that he is “mystified” by Teck Resources’s TECK-B-T decision to sell its coal unit to a Glencore-led consortium for $9-billion because his group 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,” Mr. 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 GLNCY.

Mr. 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.

Teck, in an e-mail 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.

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

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