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Russia's Mechel buys over 95% of shares in Britain's Oriel

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) - Mechel [RTS: MTLR], a leading Russian mining and metals company, said on Thursday it had acquired 95.69% of shares in the U.K.-based Oriel Resources Plc, which owns assets in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Mechel made a $1.498 billion purchase offer to Oriel, a London-based chrome and nickel mining and processing company valued at around $1.2 billion, in late March.

The Russian company said it would now start compulsory acquisition of the remaining stock. The company received approval from the Russian and Kazakh regulators on Wednesday for the acquisition of Oriel's stock.

Oriel owns the Tikhvin smelter near St. Petersburg and has two deposits in Kazakhstan, including the Voskhod chrome and the Shevchenko nickel projects.

Mechel's market capitalization stands at around $18 billion. Last year, the company increased its coal output by 25% to 21.2 million metric tons, and pushed rolled steel production up 9% to 5.1 million metric tons.

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