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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swiss Metals Firm Takes Control of Lebedinsk Ore

Nacosta AG, a Swiss metals company, said it took control over Russia's biggest iron ore producer, Lebedinsk Ore Extraction Plant, after it bought all shares of the company owned by Rossiisky Kredit Bank.

Nacosta raised its stake in Lebedinsk to 50.01 percent by buying 46.63 percent of the plant from the bank, said Mark Hofer, spokesman for Nacosta in Zug, Switzerland. The company and the bank agreed to jointly manage Lebedinsk and two other iron ore plants in which the bank has controlling stakes, he said.

The agreement ends a three-year battle for control of Lebedinsk, whose iron ore reserves are about 10 percent of Russia's total. Oskol Electrometallurgy Plant, in which Nacosta is also a major shareholder, has vied with Rossiisky Kredit over ownership of the company.

"The fight for Lebedinsk is over, at least for now,'' Hofer said. "We convinced Rossiisky Kredit we'd better join forces in managing these plants.''

He declined to reveal the price the company paid for the stake.

Hofer said Nacosta will have a "decisive say'' in running Lebedinsk. Arrangements on the management of the other two mines, Stoylensk and Mikhailovsk Ore Extraction Plants, are being negotiated, he said.

In another metals industry development, Novolipetsk Ferrous Metal Plant, Russia's third-biggest steel producer said after its shareholders meeting last week that one of its main shareholders, the British-based Trans-World Group, plans to sell its 37 percent stake to undisclosed buyers.

Trans-World has been battling for control over the company with three shareholders affiliated to Russia's Uneximbank, which controls 40.87 percent of Novolipetsk.

Trans-World didn't take part in the shareholders meeting and an official from Uneximbank was elected to replace a Trans-World representative at the Novolipetsk board of directors, said a plant spokeswoman.