Ex-PM Tiit Vahi sells controlling stake in Silmet to Russians

03.01.2006, 10:35

Tiit Vahi- majority owner of Silmet Group- has sold the controlling share in Silmet- the manufacturer of rare earth metals- to Russian businessmen.

Today's Aripaev writes that Vahi who is ex-Prime Minister sold 50 pct plus one share to a Swiss-registered Zimal SA that is controlled by Russian businesses.

Vahi is believed to have acquired over EEK 200 mln for his holding in Silmet that is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of rare earth metals.

Vahi himself says that Zimal which extracts raw materials in Russia will solve Silmet's raw material problelms.

Zimal is controlled by Mineral Group which owns a majority stake in Russian mines that extract loparite and magnesium.

"Until now we did not have a stable access to raw materials. Now- thanks to the deal- our plant will have practically unlimited access to various natural resources in the Kola peninsula and primary processing of raw materials in the Perm area-" said Vahi- adding that the deal will make Silmet the major competitor for China in producing rare earth metals.

Silmet Group continues to own around 40 pct of Silmet. The remaining 10 pct is owned by an Austrian company Treibacher Industrie AG.