Sale of Taharoa export iron sands business: BlueScope has sold 100% of the its shareholding Taharoa export iron sands business to Taharoa Mining Investments Limited (TMIL), a majority owned subsidiary of Taharoa C Block Incorporation (Taharoa C). Taharoa C is a Maori Incorporation with a wide shareholder base that owns the land at Taharoa. Importantly, BlueScope’s sale of the Taharoa export iron sands business simplifies the company’s portfolio and is consistent with the implementation of its strategy to focus on growing premium branded steel businesses, delivering competitive commodity steel supply in local markets and maintaining a strong balance sheet. Further, BlueScope will make a cash contribution of approximately NZ$51m and TMIL will assume all liabilities associated with the business including NZ$76.5m in finance lease liabilities. BlueScope expects a reduction in net debt of NZ$25.5m at completion. The company expects H2FY2017 underlying EBIT to be 50% higher than H2FY2016 (which was $340.3M), while underlying net finance costs to be lower than 1H FY2017 due to lower average net debt. Further, it expects slightly higher underlying tax rate due to regional mix of earnings, and similar profit attributable to non-controlling interests to H1FY2017.
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