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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Severstal Closes In on Celtic

LONDON -- Steelmaker Severstal said Friday that it struck a deal to buy gold and precious metals miner Celtic Resources Holdings for £173 million ($364 million).

Severstal increased its offer by 7 percent to 290 pence ($6.10) per share from 270 pence per share. The latter offer was rejected by Celtic last month.

"Severstal is delighted to have reached agreement with the board of Celtic. We welcome Celtic's recommendation that shareholders should now accept our generous cash offer," said Roman Deniskin, chief of Severstal Resurs, the natural resources arm of Severstal.

Severstal said its offer of 290 pence per share would be paid if it received acceptance for the deal from 80 percent of Celtic's issued share capital, which would enable the company to force the sale of the other remaining shares.

Severstal is owned by Alexei Mordashov, who has repeatedly expressed the desire to expand his company's global presence. His efforts last year to create the world's biggest steel company by hooking up with Arcelor failed.

Celtic Resources operates the Suzdal and Zherek gold mines in eastern Kazakhstan.

The company also has a 50 percent stake in the Shorskoye operating molybdenum mine in Kazakhstan as well as a 50 percent stake in a copper and gold project near Chelyabinsk.