Deripaska's Stake In Strabag Safe

VIENNA -- Strabag CEO Hans-Peter Haselsteiner on Thursday moved to keep Oleg Deripaska as a shareholder, agreeing with banks to refinance 500 million euros ($683 million) of loans he used to gain a 25 percent stake in the company.

The news came as Central Europe's biggest builder said its construction business would grow more slowly this year than previously forecast and decelerate further in 2009.

Haselsteiner reached the agreement to refinance Deripaska's debt with Raiffeisen Zentralbank and Raiffeisen Holding Niederoesterreich-Wien. Strabag's stock price, which has fallen 52 percent this year, lowered the value of Deripaska's stake, which was used as collateral for the loan.

Strabag last month postponed plans to establish a Russian cement unit because of financial turmoil in the country. It is halting 150 million euros in Russian construction projects, Wirtschaftsblatt newspaper reported Oct. 3.