RPT-Australia's Fortescue under pressure as iron ore crashes

Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:01pm EDT
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* $9 bln debt load puts Fortescue under stress

* Asset sales, equity raising still possible - investors

* Glencore would eye Fortescue if cheap enough - sources

* Fortescue updates on Q1 output, costs on Thursday

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, April 16 (Reuters) - Australia's Fortescue Metals Group has two stark choices to deal with a crash in the iron ore market and cut its $9 billion debt pile - sell off stakes in its mines or transport infrastructure, or sell new shares.

Investors say the quickest capital-raising option for the world's No. 4 iron ore miner would be a rights issue, although that could lead to the dilution of the one-third stake held by Chairman Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest.

"There's no question, all of those things, in a challenging environment, get a run," said a person close to the company who asked not to be identified. "You've always got them on the agenda."   Continued...