Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who crashed from the top of Russia’s rich list during the credit crisis, will not buy back his 25 per cent stake in Austrian builder Strabag this year, but will extend the option.
A spokesman for Strabag said Deripaska had told the company he would extend the option until October, denying a newspaper report on Monday that said he would exercise it.
Deripaska’s stake, partly debt-financed when he bought it for around 1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2007, was taken over by other shareholders earlier this year, but Deripaska retained an option to buy it back by year end.
Strabag said Deripaska would have to pay a fee of 46 million euros by Dec. 18 to extend the option until Oct. 15, 2010. The price at which he can buy back the 28.5 million shares rises to 19.25 euros each because of the extension, from 18 euros now.
Deripaska’s holding company Basel confirmed it had extended the deadline.
Austrian newspaper Der Standard had reported he was expected to exercise the option this year.