ArcelorMittal Seeks to Buy Back Most Expensive Bonds to Cut Debt

ArcelorMittal SA offered to buy back its most expensive bonds, bolstering efforts to cut a $13.3 billion debt pile.

The world’s biggest steelmaker tendered for all $1.5 billion of 9.85 percent securities due June 2019, according to a statement. It offered 17 percent above face value and set a May 18 deadline for acceptances. The notes have the highest coupons among the company’s outstanding fixed-rate bonds, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company is making its second offer to buy back debt in about a month after holders largely snubbed an April tender for short-dated notes. The steelmaker, which supplied metal for New York’s One World Trade Center and London’s Wembley Stadium, is seeking to cut borrowing costs as competition from China weighs on global prices.

“I think investors will be minded to participate because of weakness in high-yield metals bonds this month,” said Mark Wade, head of industrials research at Rogge Global Partners Plc in London, which manages about $36 billion. ArcelorMittal has “excellent liquidity” so it makes sense for the company to buy back costly notes, he said.

The company said it will fund the buyback with cash. It raised $3 billion in a rights issue last month and it has agreed to sell a stake in a Spanish auto-parts venture.

Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal said this month that global steel markets are improving, aided by rising prices in China. The comments came after the company reported a 33 percent drop in first-quarter earnings.

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