Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG), Australia’s third-largest iron-ore producer, said any potential sale of a stake in its port and rail assets will likely be announced in the September quarter.
The sale process is “substantially advanced”, Perth-based Fortescue said today in a statement. More time is needed to study offers for the assets because of the level of interest received, it said.
Fortescue started talks in December to sell a minority stake in the rail and port operations in Western Australia state and hired Lazard Ltd. (LAZ:US) and Macquarie Group Ltd. as financial advisers. Talks to sell the asset stakes may be concluded by the end of June, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Pearce said on April 18.
“We are very pleased with the progress to date, having shortlisted potential investors and advanced to the next phase of the commercial process,” Chief Executive Officer Neville Power said in the statement.
Share of Fortescue fell 5.7 percent to A$3.17 at 12:29 p.m. in Sydney trading, set for the biggest decline in two months. The stock is down 32 percent this year.
Fortescue could net as much as $5 billion from its plan to sell a stake in the infrastructure assets, Credit Suisse Group AG said June 6.
“Based on the current status, if sanctioned, any transaction is likely to be announced in the September 2013 quarter,” the company said. “Fortescue is not under pressure to conclude a sale of an interest in its rail and port assets.”
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