Rio Tinto and Gina back in court, Billabong shares skyrocket on private equity announcement: Midday Roundup

Rio Tinto is appealing a recent court decision ordering them to pay almost $200 million in iron ore royalties to Hancock Prospecting and Wright Prospecting, sparking a second battle with Gina Rinehart.

Rio Tinto said yesterday a “notice of intention to appeal has been filed in respect of the court’s decision”, according to The Age.

In May, the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled in favour of Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting in regards to the case, which involved royalties from the Channar and Eastern Range mines.

Rio Tinto shares are currently trading at $56.48, up $0.96 this morning.

Billabong shares skyrocket on private equity announcement

Billabong shares jumped 39% in morning trade, following the cease of a trading halt and the announcement of the surfwear company’s deal with Altamont Capital Partners.

The deal has seen chief executive Launa Inman get the chop, as the company has agreed to a debt refinancing deal which will see the company effectively controlled by Altamont.

The agreement with Altamont and US private equity company Blackstone sees the creation of a $325 million bridging debt facility and the sale of adventure sports brand Dakine.

Billabong has a current debt of $289 million, but the remaining $106 million of the bridging debt facility will go toward keeping the business operating while a longer term refinancing package is put in place.

Shares steady on open

The Australian share market has opened steady this morning, ahead of United States Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony to congress today.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark had fallen 0.7 points to 4985.3 at midday.

Overnight, the Dow Jones slipped 32.41 points, down 0.21% to 15,451.85.

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