Deripaska buys back 17 pct stake in Strabag: company

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Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is buying back a stake in Austrian construction group Strabag which he gave it up last year following financing problems, Strabag announced on Monday.

Rasperia Trading Limited, part of Deripaska's investment company Basic Element, "has made an agreement with Strabag's core shareholders -- Haselsteiner Group and Raiffeisen/UNIQA Group -- to repurchase a 17-percent stake in Strabag," the Austrian company said in a statement.

The deal -- worth 373 million euros (520 million dollars), or 19.25 euros per share -- is to be completed on November 30.

The three shareholders also agreed a call option for another 8.0-percent stake, to run until July 2014, Strabag said.

Deripaska acquired 25 percent plus one share in Strabag in 2007, but gave it up again in April 2009 after reportedly struggling to repay his debts, with his fortune hard hit by the financial crisis.

Haselstein, a private foundation, and a consortium comprising banking and insurance groups Raiffeisen and Uniqa agreed to take over his share, while giving Deripaska the option of buying it back at a later date.

Strabag, which claims to be the leading construction group in central and eastern Europe, meanwhile announced in a separate statement Monday that it was going to buy a 26-percent stake in Russian road construction company Transstroy, also part of Basic Element, for 70 million euros.

The Austrian group, which employs some 75,500 people worldwide and posted revenues just over 12.5 billion euros last year, said it was "intensifying its Russian business" to make it one of Strabag's three largest markets by 2020.

© 2010 AFP

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