Australian court lifts freeze on $866 mln in MMK assets

Australian Federal Court has lifted a freeze on Russian steel giant MMK’s assets worth $866 million, Australia’s Flinders Mines iron ore company, which is the subject of a takeover by MMK, said on Monday.

The Australian court froze the assets, including a five percent stake in Fortescue Metal Group, on December 1 under a lawsuit filed by MMK’s major iron ore supplier ENRC Marketing AG, which claimed that MMK had breached a long-term contract and reduced monthly purchases of iron ore to 700,000 tons from 1 million tons.

MMK argued that it had requested ENRC Marketing to cut iron ore shipments amid declining raw material prices on global markets but ENRC refused to alter supply terms. The contract between ENRC and MMK is valid until 2017.

In late November, MMK made a $537 million takeover offer to Flinders Mines. The acquisition deal must be approved by the Australian regulator and may be closed in March 2012.


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