Vale Said in Talks With Asia Buyers for Stake in Iron Ore

  • Asset sale could raise up to $7 billion in debt-cutting plan
  • Mining company also said to be considering streaming deals

Vale SA is holding discussions with Asian mining companies about a potential sale of a minority stake in its Brazilian iron-ore assets that could fetch as much as $7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The world’s top iron-ore producer may also consider streaming deals, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No agreements have been reached, and the talks may not result in a deal, the people said.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company joins other global miners such as Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc who are trying to pay down debt through asset sales. Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira raised the prospect of selling some of the company’s most prized assets in February after Vale reported its first year of losses since 1997. The company has said it wants to raise about $10 billion through next year.

A representative for Vale declined to comment.

Vale has held early talks with bankers about selling some assets, including all or part of its fertilizer business and partial stakes in its Brazilian copper operations, people familiar with the matter said last month. The company also discussed putting more precious-metal streams on its mines, they said.

Vale’s Brazilian mining joint venture with BHP Billiton Ltd., known as Samarco, is exploring ways to restructure about $1.6 billion in loans months after a deadly accident halted output and crimped cash flow, people with knowledge of the matter said Monday.

Vale shares rose 4 cents to $4.46 in New York trading on Friday. The stock has gained 36 percent this year.

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