Mechel Owner Jim Justice May Sell Shares This Week, UralSib Says

OAO Mechel investors Jim Justice and his family, owners of 48 percent of the Russian coal company’s preferred stock, may sell shares through a placing of American depository receipts in New York this week, UralSib Capital said.

The family may sell 16.5 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange, Dmitry Smolin, a Moscow-based analyst at UralSib, wrote today in a note. The placing would fetch about $130 million based on the Dec. 3 close of $8.13, he said.

The West Virginia-based businessman and his family sold 16.7 million shares in May and June this year for $251 million and were barred from selling further stock until last month. Mechel preferred depositary receipts have risen 9 percent in the past six months in New York, and fell 0.8 percent last month.

Calls to Lynn Swann, a spokeswoman for Jim Justice in Greenbrier, West Virginia, went unanswered.

The Justice family sold U.S. coal producer Bluestone Coal Corp. to Mechel in May 2009 for $436 million in cash and 83.3 million Mechel preferred shares after the global credit crisis slashed financing for acquisitions. The family also grows corn, wheat and soybeans in West Virginia and neighboring states.

Mechel is Russia’s largest producer of steelmaking coal.

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