Andrew Forrest digs up additional Fortescue shares

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest.

Andrew Forrest has raked in 22 million shares from Fortescue Metals Group, upping his stake in the company to 35.3 per cent.

The Fortescue founder paid $242 million for the shares and has now over 1.112 billion shares in the mining giant.

Fortescue’s latest half yearly profits of US$2.5 billion ($3.85 billion) surged to more than three times the amount from the previous year.

Strong iron ore prices have helped this recent success, with iron ore’s value peaking in 2019 at an impressive $US120 per tonne. It is expected that this will continue through 2020.

Fortescue also experienced record shipments in the December half year with 88.6 million tonnes of ore shipped.

However, company shares have taken a plunge following the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the market.

Fortescue’s share price dropped to $10.08 a share (at the time of writing) from an all-time high of $12.69 in January.

Forrest was Australia’s richest man in 2008, with a current net worth valued at more than $6.5 billion.

The billionaire has also acted as a philanthropist, donating a $70 million recovery package for fire-affected areas in the eastern region of Australia.

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