Russia’s Evraz plans to sell Czech steel plant Vitkovice by end-2013.

By bne IntelliNews August 30, 2013

Russia’s largest steelmaker Evraz plans to sell its Czech plant Vitkovice by the end of 2013, RIA Novosti reported citing Evraz chief executive Alexander Frolov.

Evraz halted production at Vitkovice two times this year due to low demand on the European market and in April the Russian company said it is considering several options for the plant including its sale.

Evraz bought a stake in Vitkovice Steel for USD 285mn in 2005. Vitkovice Steel is one of the largest heavy plate steel producers in Europe and the sole producer in the Czech Republic. It has an annual capacity is about 950,000 tonnes of steel and 925,000 tonnes of rolled stock.

Evraz will also seek to sell its steel and vanadium mill Highveld in South Africa by the end of 2013. Evraz has been selling assets as it seeks to manage its USD 6bn debt. Florov said that after the sale of the two units the company may pay a dividend. Evraz, partly owned by Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, said on Aug 29 it posted a first-half net loss of USD 122mn, 165% deeper than the loss it had a year ago due to weak steel prices.

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