OAO Mechel (MTLR), Russia's fifth-biggest steelmaker, said Chairman Igor Zyuzin increased his stake in the company to 65.8 percent from 52.2 percent through a series of private transactions.
Zyuzin boosted his holding to a majority on May 22 after buying shares from Chief Executive Vladimir Iorich, Mechel said. Iorich said on Feb. 10 he would sell his 42.2 percent stake to Zyuzin and hand over his post to Chief Operating Officer Alexei Ivanushkin.
``Iorich is doing this for personal reasons, he plans to be a private investor,'' Mechel spokeswoman Irina Ostryakova said in a telephone interview from Moscow today.
The company, which sold 10 percent of its shares to the public in October 2005 for $291.4 million, was created in 2003 from the steel and mining assets of Iorich and Zyuzin, who own about 85 percent of the company. They built up Mechel (MTLR) from a coal-trading operation in southwestern Siberia in the 1990s.
Mechel said May 18 full-year profit dropped 72 percent to $381.2 million from $1.34 billion a year earlier as steel prices fell and raw-material costs rose.
It cut crude steel production by 5 percent to 5.9 million metric tons last year as prices weakened, and plans to raise annual coal output 60 percent to 25 million metric tons in the five years through 2010.
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