Mr. L.C. Hanna of the firm of M.A. Hanna & Co., Cleveland, and President W.E. Reis of the National Steel Co., Chicago, have just executed in Cleveland contracts that involve the transfer to the National Steel Co. of all the property of the Chapin Mining Co., Winthrop Iron Co., Mutual Transportation Co. and Menominee Transit Co. This means mines capable of producing, when worked to the maximum in their present condition, 1,250,000 gross tons of iron ore, and ships that will move in the trade in which they will be engaged Escanaba to Ohio ports - a full million tons of ore in a season. It is understood that Mr. L.C. Hanna managed to effect this great transfer of property - not as a mere control, but practically the entire stock of the four corporations - without the necessity of calling a single meeting of directors, and on the other hand it is announced also that the steel company will take over these large interests without a new issue of stock and in fact without new securities of any kind. Relations between sellers and purchasers were of such a nature that there was no examination whatever of the properties. The management of the different interests transferred remains in the office of M.A. Hanna & Co., and there will, of course, be no disturbance in the details of operation as regards either mines or ships. All information regarding prices involved in the transaction is withheld, but it is certain, of course, that the figures are in the millions, in view of the great capacity of the Chapin mine, and in view also of the fact that both mines and ships - the latter not to be had new at any price - have almost doubled in value within the past six or eight months. It is quite probable that the ships were sold at figures equal to their original cost on leaving the ship yards several years ago. But in purchasing this property at the high prices that were undoubtedly demanded for it the National Steel Co., strong, prosperous and possessed of surplus funds, is fortifying itself in a position that has been forced by the other big steel industrials, that of owning the mines and providing for the transportation of the ore.
The steel steamers involved in this transaction are the CORALIA, CORSICA, CORONA and CAMBRIA of the Mutual company's fleet, and the GRECIAN, ROMAN, GERMAN, SAXON and BRITON of the Menominee fleet. They are not of the modern 6,000 or 7,000 ton type but they are all good vessels practically new, built for the ore trade and as noted above capable of moving from Escanaba, which is the port of shipment for both the Chapin and Winthrop mines, full 1,000,000 gross tons of ore in a season. The transfer also gives to the steel Company an interest in one of the ore docks at Ashtabula that was partly owned by the Mutual Transportation Co. Both of the transportation companies are Ohio corporations. The Menominee fleet of five steamers is now under charter to the Canada-Atlantic Transportation Co., operating between Chicago and Parry Sound, Ont., but the charter expires with the close of the present season of navigation, after which the vessels will, of course, be turned to the Escanaba ore trade. The Canada-Atlantic company had about concluded negotiations a short time ago for the purchase of these five vessels, but the deal fell through on account of a misunderstanding regarding insurance. The Canada company will now be required to look elsewhere for steamers for its service.
Both of the mining companies involved in the sale are Michigan corporations.
The Marine Review
July 27, 1899