Prices of iron ore hit a seven-month low today, and are down 30% since hitting a year high in February, as prices get hit by a demand slowdown in China and a glut of supply. Analysts are predicting more declines, with Westpac projecting iron ore prices to drop to as low as $85 a ton by the end of September. Liberum Capital notes that its channel checks show the price may fall below $90 a ton. "The market is flush with product at the moment," says RBS Morgans resources analyst James Wilson. "Pricing power has switched from the iron-ore miners to the steel mills."
Carpenter Technology (CRS +7.89%) agrees to buy Latrobe Specialty Metals for $388M. Latrobe had initially filed plans for a $175M IPO in May, but cancelled after being approached by Carpenter, saying the deal will provide "superior benefits for all of our stakeholders."
Rio Tinto (RIO +0.65%) says this is the final extension of its Riversdale (RFLMF.PK) offer, really. The new deadline is June 17, and Rio holds 73.42% of shares outstanding, or all but 0.3% of shares not controlled by Tata Steel (TATLY.PK). This is the fourth time Rio has extended the deadline.
For the third time, Rio Tinto (RIO -0.2%) extends the deadline on its $4B offer for Riversdale Mining (RFLMF.PK). Rio already holds 73.39% of Riversdale shares but is hoping that Tata Steel (TATLY.PK), with a roughly 26% stake, will stop rebuffing Rio's offer before the new June 3 deadline. (PR)
Tata Steel (TATLY.PK) raises its stake in Riversdale Mining to 27.1% from 24.2%, making success unlikely for Rio Tinto's (RIO -1%) $3.9B bid for the coal miner. Rio now needs almost 100% acceptance from minority shareholders but has won over just 17% so far.
Rio Tinto (RIO -1.3%) extends its $3.9B takeover offer for Riversdale Mining for a second time, to March 18 from March 4, as top Riversdale shareholder Tata Steel (TATLY.PK) says it still hasn't decided whether to sell or hold its stake.
Rio Tinto (RIO) score some key support for its $3.9B offer for Riversdale Mining, as the coking coal developer's full board recommends the bid. Top Riversdale shareholder Tata Steel (TATLY.PK) also throws its weight behind the deal.
The price of coking coal, up 25% in the last week, could see further increases as "higher raw-material costs ...can be passed on to end consumers," says an analyst. Queensland officially cuts its estimate for coking coal production by 10.5%.
Tata Steel (TATLY.PK) shares fall 0.5% in Mumbai after saying it plans a capital raise of $1B. Aggressive expansion at home combined with its purchase of Dutch steelmaker Corus left Tata's debt-to-equity ratio at 2.8, a number it hopes to reduce to 2.5.
So far, Asian steelmakers have enough stockpiles of coal to weather the disruption in shipments from Australia. However, it could take weeks to pump water out of flooded mines, leading steel producers to worry about cutting production should a new source of coal not be found.
While nowhere near as large in price or scope, Rio Tinto's (RIO) $3.9B bid for Riversdale, amid a frenzied rush for coal, brings to mind its disastrous 2007 purchase of Alcan. Even Rio's latest bump in price may not be enough to deter other suitors.
Shares of Riversdale are halted in Sydney after news that Rio Tinto (RIO +2%) is now discussing an acquisition price of $3.7B, 6.7% higher than the original proposal. The bump in price is not unexpected as Tata (TATLY.PK), a 24% owner of Riversdale, may have its own designs on the miner.
Tata Steel (TATLY.PK), already a 24% owner of Riversdale Mining, is considering a rival bid to Rio Tinto's (RIO) potential purchase price of $3.2B. Tata could partner with India's state-owned miner NMDC, or with Steel Authority of India.
Riversdale Mining shares jumped 15% to $16.23, suggesting that Rio Tinto (RIO -0.7%) will have to increase a potential $15/share bid. Recent deals would suggest a final price in the $17-$18 range, but a bidding war could drive the price even higher.