Mechel plans 2014 asset sales to cope with $2 billion debt

Loss-making Russian coal miner and steelmaker Mechel (MTL) (MTLR.ME) plans to raise around $1 billion from the sale of assets in 2014 which would help it to offset $2 billion debt it has to repay next year, the company said on Monday. Mechel, controlled by billionaire Igor Zyuzin, like other Russian steelmakers invested heavily in expansion before the 2008 financial crisis hit demand, forcing it to borrow to support itself. Russia’s largest lenders, including Sberbank (SBER.MM) and VTB (VTBR.ME), have recently agreed to grant covenant holidays for Mechel for the next year. Sberbank has also restructured Mechel’s $772 million loan.


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