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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Strabag, Deripaska to Sell 49% to Public

ReutersDeripaska, left, Haselsteiner and Raiffeisen chief Christian Konrad speaking to reporters in Vienna on Thursday.
VIENNA -- Strabag and its newest investor, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, plan to sell at least 49 percent of the company to the public, CEO Hans-Peter Haselsteiner said Thursday.

The current shareholders of Austria's largest builder "will reduce their stake to 51 percent," in coming years, to make the stock attractive to investors, the CEO said in an interview in Vienna. He suggested that the main shareholders might eventually retain less than a majority.

Strabag on Wednesday postponed an initial stock sale planned for Thursday and said it agreed to sell a 30 percent stake to Deripaska for 1.2 billion euros ($1.63 billion). Haselsteiner said he plans to hold the IPO after the summer to raise more money to expand in Russia and other former Soviet countries.

The sale will involve 25 percent of Strabag. Then the main shareholders, Austria's Raiffeisen bank, insurer Uniqa and the Haselsteiner family will all reduce their stakes further in the coming years.

Deripaska, Russia's second-richest man and the owner of the world's largest aluminum company, will inject 1.05 billion euros into the company. Strabag and Deripaska plan to build roads, airports, offices and apartments across the country.

"Russia needs a lot of infrastructure investments in the coming years," Deripaska told reporters in Vienna on Thursday, "and we want to participate in that." The investor said he had no plans to increase the stake and did not want to buy a majority of Strabag.

Deripaska has a fortune estimated at $16.8 billion, the Russian edition of Forbes magazine said April 19, including building and cement assets. Strabag gets almost one-third of its output from Eastern Europe, where economic growth has fueled a surge in construction.