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Evraz Takes Control of Highveld

Steelmaker Evraz has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in South Africa's Highveld Steel and Vanadium, buying a 29.2 percent stake in the miner held by Anglo American for $238 million.

In a deal struck last July, Evraz and Credit Suisse each bought 24.9 percent in Highveld from Anglo American.

Evraz also had a call option, subject to regulatory approvals in the European Union and South Africa, over Anglo's remaining 29.2 percent stake and Credit Suisse's stake.

The acquisition, Evraz's second abroad this year, gives the steelmaker 54.1 percent of Highveld. Evraz, which is 41 percent owned by Roman Abramovich's investment vehicle Millhouse Holding, bought Oregon Steel for $2.3 billion in January.

Evraz CEO Alexander Frolov said that the acquisition would give Evraz "access to the growing South African steel and construction sectors" and make it the world's leading player in vanadium.

Vanadium is used to strengthen steel and titanium for the aerospace and defense industries and is a key ingredient in certain petrochemical products.

"We would like to reiterate our commitment to advancing black economic empowerment at Highveld," Frolov said in the statement posted on Evraz's web site Friday.

Under the conditions of the clearances granted to Evraz in February and April by the European Commission and competition authorities in South Africa, Evraz has committed to divesting some of Highveld's vanadium production facilities and related assets.

Evraz is required to make a mandatory offer to all other Highveld shareholders by June 2.

(The Moscow Times 08.v.07)

 
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