Russia’s top steel producer Evraz has agreed a 1.79 billion euro deal to buy its US counterpart Oregon Steel Mills. The merger would create the world’s largest rail producer and give Evraz access to lucrative American markets. Evraz, 41 per cent owned by Roman Abramovich – Russia’s richest man, has been on an expansion drive amid global consolidation in the steel industry.
The united firm would be the biggest player in the Russian steel market, when it came to output, with rivals Severstal and MMK several million tonnes behind. Evraz-Oregon Steel would also produce 16.8 million tonnes of crude steel, placing it just outside the world’s top 10.
Elsewhere, the Russian mining giant Norlisk Nickel has agreed to buy Cleveland-based OM Group’s nickel assets for 318 million euros in cash. Norilsk is the world’s biggest nickel producer. The deal has been approved by the two companies’ boards of directors but has yet to be endorsed by regulators. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.