Kazakhmys Completes Sale of Power-Unit Stake for $1.25 Billion

Kazakhmys Plc, Kazakhstan’s largest copper miner, has received $1.25 billion after completing the sale of its power unit to the nation’s sovereign wealth fund.

The company sold its remaining 50 percent interest in Ekibastuz LLP to Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna fund, Kazakhmys said in a statement today. It bought Ekibastuz in 2008 for $1.26 billion and sold a 50 percent stake to Samruk-Kazyna for $681 million in 2010, Kazakhmys said.

The holding in the power unit “has provided a sound return for investors,” Chief Executive Officer Oleg Novachuk said in the statement. “The disposal will strengthen our balance sheet and allow us to focus on our core copper business and proposed restructuring.”

Kazakhmys plans to spin off its lower-margin operations into a private company run by former Chairman Vladimir Kim this year, shrinking operations by two-thirds and the workforce by 80 percent. It’s selling assets to focus on mines with better earnings and to curb losses. The company reported a second straight full-year loss in February because of slumping prices.

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