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Evraz Group offers to buy Highveld stock at $11.4 per share

Evraz Group S.A. said Monday it had made an offer to buy the shares of South Africa's Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation Ltd. at $11.4 per share.

Evraz Group, one of Russia's largest steel and mining companies, partly owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, currently holds about 54.1% of outstanding shares in Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation Ltd., a leading global vanadium producer. Under South African law, Evraz is required to make a general offer to all Highveld shareholders, once its ownership has exceeded 35%, Evraz said. The offer is valid until 5:00 p.m. South African time on July 4, 2007, unless extended by Evraz in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Evraz has obtained all necessary regulatory approvals, and its offer is not subject to any conditions, the company said. Additionally, Evraz still has an option to buy a 24.9% stake in Highveld held by Credit Suisse, the company said. „We believe the price we are offering to be fair and attractive. It reflects the growth of Highveld's business and is approximately 31% higher than the price paid by Evraz to Anglo American for a majority shareholding in the company,” Evraz CEO Alexander Frolov said.

In early May 2007, Evraz Group purchased 29.2% of Highveld shares from Anglo American plc, a leading global mining and natural resources company, for $238 million. Last July, Evraz Group and Credit Suisse bought 24.9% each in Highveld from Anglo American. Evraz had an option to purchase Anglo American's remaining 29.2% shareholding as well as the 24.9% holding of Credit Suisse once regulatory approvals were received from the anti-monopoly authorities in South Africa and the European Union. Under the terms of the clearances granted to Evraz in February and April 2007 by the European Commission and anti-trust authorities in South Africa, Evraz has committed to divest certain vanadium production facilities, and related assets.

Evraz and other steelmakers are buying rivals to form larger companies better able to control prices. Evraz completed its $2.3 billion acquisition of Portland-based Oregon Steel Mills Inc. in January to become the world's biggest producer of long steel products. (rian.ru)