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Evraz launches US$700M note buyback offer; owners plan share sale

Russia's second-largest steelmaker, Evraz PLC, said March 18 that it would buy back US$700 million of 6.5% outstanding bonds maturing on April 22, 2020, while the company's ultimate owners plan to place 1.8% of shares for sale.

The FTSE 100 constituent will issue new notes to finance the buyback, extending the maturity of its debt profile.

Noteholders have until March 26 to accept the offer, the results of which will be announced the following day.

An anonymous source told Russian news agency Interfax that a roadshow for five-year bonds would begin on March 20, with J.P. Morgan, Bank of American Merrill Lynch, Gazprombank, ING and Sberbank CIB arranging the new offering.

Evraz posted its highest annual EBITDA since 2008 at the end of February, as it brought its net debt down to US$3.57 billion rubles during 2018, from US$3.97 billion at the end of 2017.

In a separate news release, the company said its billionaire owners Roman Abramovich, Chairman Alexander Abramov and CEO Alexander Frolov would place approximately 25.4 million Evraz shares, representing about 1.8% of voting rights, for sale.

A 60-day lockup period will follow the placing, which will take place via an accelerated bookbuild brokered by Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., Credit Suisse Securities Ltd. and UBS Europe SE.

Evraz did not specify a time frame for the placing.