Merger ‘good idea’, says Evraz boss

Have your say

The chairman of Evraz, Russia’s biggest steelmaker, believes a merger with number two player Severstal would be a “good idea”, a proposal analysts said was unlikely because major shareholders would not want to surrender control.

“I guess that this (merger) would have several advantages,” Evraz chairman and 24 per cent shareholder Alexander Abramov said, adding the two sides were not in talks. He did not say how a tie-up might take place.

Russia’s big steel companies are controlled by oligarchs who created the entities in the tumultuous period following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich holds 35 per cent of Evraz, giving its two core shareholders a combined stake of 59 per cent. Alexei Mordashov holds 82 per cent of Severstal, which said it did not comment on speculation. “There’s no pressure for controlling shareholders to part with control. They have sufficient financial resources to develop as individual companies,” ING analyst Maxim Matveev said.