Basic Element to buy back 17% of Strabag

By Chris Sleight08 November 2010

Strabag CEO, Hans Peter Haselsteiner

Strabag CEO, Hans Peter Haselsteiner

Basic Element, the investment vehicle for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, has agreed to repurchase a 17% stake in Strabag for € 373 million. The company has the option to acquire a further 8% in the company, and this call option is valid until 15 July 2014.

Basic Element surrendered its 25% stake in Strabag to its two core shareholders, the Haselsteiner Group, representing the company's management, and Raiffeisen bank in May 2009 in order to fund other activities in the wake of the global financial crisis. At the time Strabag CEO Hans-Peter Haselsteiner, "It is strategically important for us to continue our cooperation with Basic Element, a company which remains our key and reliable partner in the Russian market."

Commenting on the re-acquisition of a stake in Strabag, Basic Element deputy CEO Andrei Elinson said, "We view our involvement with Strabag as a long-term strategic investment, a real partnership which stands to enhance the company's position to the benefit of all of its shareholders."

Following the acquisition, the Haselsteiner group remains Strabag's biggest shareholder, with a 29.5% stake. Basic Element has 17%, Raiffeisen has 15.5%, insurance company Uniqua Group has 15% and there is a 23.5% free float.

In a connected deal, Strabag has made an advanced payment of € 70 million for a 26% stake in Basic Element's road construction company, Transstroy. The company had sales of RUB 39 million (€ 900 million) in 2009.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Haselsteiner said, "Russia already shows first signs of a recovery from the financial and economic crisis, I am convinced of the strong market potential there. By 2020 Russia could be one of the three largest markets for the Strabag Group. Taking a minority stake in Transstroy - and therefore entering the transportation and infrastructure segment in Russia - is the next step to reaching this goal."

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