Cliffs share offers priced to raise up to $1 bln

Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:55am EST

* Cliffs to raise funds to pay down debt

* Common shares priced at $29/shr, depositary shares at $25/shr

* Miner reported Q4 loss after writedown of Canada deal

* Shares down 0.58 percent at $29.31 on NYSE

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, a U.S.-based coal and iron ore miner grappling with low commodities pricing and escalating costs, could raise up to $1 billion through two separate equity offers announced earlier this week and priced late on Thursday.

Shares of Cliffs plunged 18 percent on Wednesday, a day after the company announced the share offering and slashed its dividend. It also revealed quarterly loss after a writedown in the value of a Canadian acquisition, higher costs and lower iron ore prices.

Shares were down 0.58 percent at $29.31 shortly after market open on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Cleveland-based miner said on Friday it planned to sell some 9 million common shares at $29 each, lower than its Thursday closing price of $29.48. If the offer is fully exercised, Cliffs could sell up to 10.35 million shares, for total proceeds of $300 million.

The company also plans to sell 27 million depositary shares at $25 each. If fully exercised, Cliffs could sell up to 31.05 million of the securities for total proceeds of $776.3 million.

The depositary shares each represent a 1/40th interest in a share of the company's new Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock.

Cliffs will list the depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange. If approved, trading could start within 30 days of their initial delivery. The miner wants to use the proceeds of the two offers to repay debt under its term loan facility and for general corporate purposes.

In January, Cliffs said it would take a $1 billion charge to write down the value of its C$4.07 billion ($4.06 billion) takeover of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd, a 2011 deal that gave the company control of the Bloom Lake mine.

Bloom Lake is near the company's other Canadian operations in the Labrador Trough, an iron-rich region that extends through Quebec and Labrador.

On a conference call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, Cliffs said Bloom Lake's revenue per tonne fell 26 percent to $89 in the fourth quarter.