What Australian iron ore entrepreneur, Andrew Forrest has done thanks to China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for raw materials.
Forrest’s fortune has risen from $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion as the share price of the company he founded just over a decade ago, Fortescue Metals Group, has risen strongly.
With a personal holding of one billion shares in the Australian stock exchange listed Fortescue, the rise and fall of Forrest’s fortune is easy to track, whether it’s going up or down.
Fortescue which the bank said had enjoyed the double benefit of the high iron ore price which has enabled it to restructure a debt-laden balance sheet, while management has been able to undertake a much-needed cost-cutting campaign.
Higher prices and lower costs have shifted Fortescue, a single commodity (“one trick”) company out of danger from a fall in the iron ore price .From being a company at risk, Fortescue being able to service its $12 billion debt load even if the iron ore price drops.
He has recently allocated $62 million to establish a system of academic scholarships to rival those created more than a century ago but another mining entrepreneur, Cecil Rhodes, the father of the De Beers diamond trading business.
Centred at the University of Western Australia the Forrest Scholarships will initially fund 25 doctorate students and six post-graduate researchers with part of the donation used to build the Forrest Hall accommodation facility for students.