11 Nov 2009 17:32

Evraz to try and clear $2 bln-$3 bln debt in 2-3 yrs

MOSCOW. Nov 11 (Interfax) - Evraz Group will try and reduce its leverage from $8 billion to $5 billion-$6 billion in the next two or three years, analysts at VTB Capital said in a note following a meeting with the Russian steel major's managers.

The analysts said Evraz had sufficient cash and open credit facilities to cover short-term debt for the next three quarters, and was inclined to improve its debt portfolio.

Earlier reports said net debt stood at $7.83 billion on June 30, 2009.

The company recently placed two bond issues worth 20 billion rubles in total, and is preparing to offer another four series worth 30 billion rubles in total.

Evraz Group's Russia-based steel mills have also arranged $950 million in credit facilities with Gazprombank.

Evraz has assets in Russia, the United States, Italy, Czech Republic, Canada, Ukraine and South Africa.

A company called Lanebrook owns about 77% of Evraz. Lanebrook's beneficiaries are Millhouse, the holding company for the assets of billionaire Roman Abramovich and his business partners (50%), on the one hand, and Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov (50%), on the other.