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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Evraz Buys Stake in Italian Firm

Evraz Group, Russia's biggest steel producer, said on Friday it had bought a controlling stake in Italian steel-rolling plant Palini e Bertoli as it seeks to enter other European markets.

The purchase was made through a combination of debt and equity, Evraz said in a Regulatory News Service statement.

Lachlan Johnston, a spokesman for Merlin, a London-based publicity firm acting for Evraz, said the company had not disclosed a price.

The acquisition "is in line with our strategy of capturing additional margin through focused acquisitions of high-quality re-rolling facilities worldwide," billionaire owner and chairman Alexander Abramov said in the statement.

Russian steelmakers are adding mills to cut margins while larger European competitors such as Mittal and Arcelor are reducing production amid a drop in prices. Evraz last month bought the Czech Republic's Vitkovice Steel for about $286 million. Severstal, Russia's No. 3 steelmaker, in February agreed to pay $550 million for 62 percent of Lucchini, Italy's second-biggest steelmaker.

Palini, based in northern Italy, takes semi-processed steel and rolls it into higher-value plate products. It produced 356,000 tons of rolled products last year and generated revenue of $183 million, Evraz said.

The transaction gives Evraz 75.1 percent plus one share of Palini, while former owner Annia will retain 25 percent minus one share, Evraz said.