Russia's Globaltrans to buy MMK-Trans for $225 million

MOSCOW Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:17am EST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian freight firm Globaltrans Investment (GLTRq.L) is to buy rail freight operator MMK-Trans for $225 million cash, the latest in a series of deals in an industry opening up to competition.

Globaltrans is buying the asset from a subsidiary of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) (MAGN.MM) and is assuming net debt and working capital of approximately $110 million, it said on Wednesday.

The deal also envisages signing a five-year shipping contract to transport at least 70 percent of MMK cargoes.

Russia's freight market, previously dominated by state-owned monopoly Russian Railways, has been liberalizing, which is driving deals.

Oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema (SSAq.L) in September struck a $700 million deal to buy railway freight operator SG-Trans.

Russian investment and trading group Summa this month closed a deal to buy transport group Fesco (FESH.MM), which controls over 20 percent of rail group Transcontainer, after steel magnate Vladimir Lisin agreed a deal to buy rail cargo operator Freight One.

NefteTransService agreed to buy rail operator Evraztrans from Evraz (EVRE.L) and said it was seeking more deals.

MMK-Trans is 50 percent owned by MMK Group, 37.5 percent owned by Globaltrans CEO Sergey Maltsev and its chairman Alexander Eliseev and 12.5 percent owned by MMK-Trans management.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Megan Davies; Editing by Mark Potter)

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