Ferrexpo acquires $80 million stake in Brazilian miner

LONDON Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:46am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Ukraine-focused iron pellet producer Ferrexpo (FXPO.L) said on Wednesday it had acquired an $80 million stake in a Brazilian miner, as the firm attempts to expand beyond Eastern Europe.

The FTSE 250 company said in a statement it had taken a 14.4 percent stake in Ferrous Resources, a privately-owned Brazilian producer with expansion plans in the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais.

Ferrexpo, majority owned by Ukrainian billionaire and parliamentarian Kostyantin Zhevago, has been embroiled in a long-winded legal battle over the ownership of its Poltava mine with analysts identifying political risk in Ukraine as a key challenge for the company.

The stake also gives Ferrexpo a foothold in the country of its main pellet-making competitor, mining major Vale (VALE5.SA).

Ferrous Resources, which currently produces around 5 million tonnes per annum, has permission to expand to 15 million tonnes.

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; editing by Kate Holton)