Elena Baturina, billionaire wife of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has reportedly sold the cement assets under her control for US$800m, the newspaper Vedomosti reported Friday. ZAO Inteko, the holding company through which Baturina controls most of her construction-related business, had majority stakes in five cement factories and minority stakes in another two, Vedomosti said.
The buyer is Eurocement, the country’s largest cement-maker, owned by financier Filaret Galchov. The deal is likely to be subject to antitrust approval, owing to Eurocement’s already strong market position. Combined with Inteko’s assets, Eurocement would control over 40 per cent of the market. The cement industry has thrived on a construction boom that is spreading outwards from Moscow. However, rises in electricity prices when the power market is deregulated are seen as adding to rising cost pressures.