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Corrs acts on Fortescue's latest $2bn bond issue
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Corrs acts on Fortescue's latest $2bn bond issue

Corrs has confirmed it is acting on a $2.05bn bond offering by the Fortescue Group as the miner accelerates its expansion plans to capitalise on high iron ore prices.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has confirmed it is acting on a $2.05 billion bond offering by the Fortescue Group as the miner accelerates its expansion plans to capitalize on high iron ore prices.

Corrs has advised JP Morgan and RBS on the high yield bond offering.

The Perth-based miner, Australia’s third- largest listed producer of iron ore, behind BHP Billioton and Rio Tinto, refinanced another portion of its debt in October in a bid to give it flexibility to expand.

The most recent transaction involved a refinancing of Fortescue’s existing senior secured notes with a US$2.04 billion senior unsecured bridge loan facility and a US$2.04 billion senior unsecured note issue under Rule 144A of the US Securities Act 1933.

The existing senior secured notes, issued in 2006, created the financial base upon which Fortescue constructed its initial mine, port and rail infrastructure, Corrs said this week.

Those notes contained project-finance style covenants, which largely restricted Fortescue to the Chichester Hub, Fortescue’s two mine sites - Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek, during the life of those notes.

The new funding arrangements allow Fortescue the freedom to implement its “Two Ports, Three Hubs” mining strategy – expansion of the Chichester Hub, development of the Solomon Hub and Western Hub, and development of a second port near Cape Lambert.

Fortescue chief executive officer, Andrew Forrest, said the refinancing was “a major leap forward” for the company.

Fortescue is one of the first Australian corporates to tap into the newly resurgent high yield and institutional markets in North America.

The Corrs team, led by partners Rob Ritchie and Brad Robinson and supported by partners Peter Jarosek, Stan Lewis and Craig Milner, senior associates Mari Futaesku and Sabrina Ng and lawyers Joseph Varghese, Amin Doulai, David Li, Nikki Chong, Karen Tseu and Les Gavara-Nanu, worked closely with White & Case as New York counsel to J.P. Morgan and RBS to successfully complete the transaction.


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