Cliffs Natural Resources Terminates Notes Tender Offer, Postpones Debt Refinancing

Cliffs Natural Resources Terminates Notes Tender Offer, Postpones Debt Refinancing

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) said Wednesday night that it is terminating its previously announced cash tender offers. The move has raised fresh concerns about the company's stability.

The company had looked to purchase senior notes due in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2040 for $600 million. However, the offer was scrapped amidst Cliffs' struggles with debt refinancing and the catastrophic downturn in the iron ore market.

"With the unfavorable move in market rates during the past few weeks, the prudent decision is to postpone the company's refinancing plans until market conditions improve," said Cliffs' chairman, president and CEO, Lourenco Goncalves. "Cliffs has ample liquidity and strong financial flexibility. Accordingly, we will be patient and disciplined in assessing the capital markets."

The news sent the company's share price down nearly 7 percent Thursday morning, bringing its year-to-date drop to 69.32 percent, in line with similar losses seen by Vale (NYSE:VALE).

The announcement comes on the heels of the company announcing it will shut down its Bloom Lake project due to unforgiving market conditions and a lack of interested buyers. That move followed a $6-billion write down — and a third-quarter loss of $5.9 billion — that was largely attributed to the poor performance of Bloom Lake.

The decline is not surprising given that Cliffs, like many other iron ore companies, has taken a hit as Chinese construction has slowed. According to Bloomberg, large mining companies such as BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BLT) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO,ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO) bet that Chinese construction demands wouldn't wane until 2030. They were seemingly wrong — Bloomberg states that the country could hit peak steel output in as soon as three years, with widespread plant closures expected afterwards.

Cliffs is packing about $3 billion worth of debt, and only generated $582.9 million in earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) throughout the first three quarters of 2014. Meanwhile, iron ore prices have dropped about 50 percent this year, to $70 a tonne, with no end seemingly in sight.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Nick Wells, hold no direct investment in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Cliffs Natural Resources Terminates Notes Tender Offer, Postpones Debt Refinancing from Iron Investing News

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