Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Atlas Iron Suspends Itself From Share Trade Amid Plunging Prices

Atlas Iron is stumbling in the face of the slumping ore price, suspending itself from the local share market as it tries to map out a future.

Iron ore slumped over the weekend to a fresh low of $US46.70 a tonne on a key Chinese spot market.
Atlas said it has been surprised by the "extent and the pace of the decline in the iron ore price" which it says has fallen 24 per cent since it released its half-year accounts in February.

"The voluntary suspension is requested pending the outcome of an extensive review of the company's operations, financial outlook, asset sale opportunities and capital structure," the company said in a statement to shareholders.

The company said it has already commenced discussions with a number of its stakeholders in relation to various initiatives it is undertaking to reduce costs and preserve value.

Bulk transporter McAleese Group is one of those stakeholders, it has a major iron ore haulage contract with Atlas worth around $250 million and not due to expire until 2017.

McAleese has issued a statement to shareholders saying it will continue to work with Atlas as a priority to "achieve sustainable solutions for both parties."

Atlas shares, which last traded at 12 cents, will remain suspended until the company makes an announcement at the end of the review, which should be in the next fortnight.

The share price has lost 88 per cent in the last 12 months.

Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard is assisting Atlas with the review.

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