16 Oct 2009 16:31

Regulator clears MMK to up stake in coal producer Belon

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) - The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has cleared Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) to increase its stake in coal producer Belon, an MMK representative told Interfax.

MMK filed the request at the beginning of October.

The Russian steel major currently owns half of the Cyprus-registered Onarbay Enterprises, which controls 82.6% of Belon. Belon's general director, Andrei Dobrov, owns the other half of Onarbay.

MMK bought the 43.1% of Belon from Dobrov last year, and with it an option to buy Dobrov out in 2010. The option expires in March.

A source with knowledge of the matter told Interfax that Dobrov might step down as Belon chief next week and that MMK intended to increase its stake to above controlling before November.

He said MMK would appoint its own representative in place of Dobrov.