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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Steel giant seeks London listing
Workers in a steel plant
Severstal wants to stoke up interest in a London flotation
Russian steel group Severstal plans to list its shares in London by the end of 2006 as it looks to polish up its image and searches for merger partners.

A partial flotation of Severstal stock in London could be worth as much as 16bn ($20bn).

Severstal boss Alexey Mordashov said he was still looking for partners after steel rival Mittal beat the firm to a merger with Arcelor earlier this year.

Mr Mordashov plans to improve the way the business is run before it floats.

New blood

Mordashov announced that he will dilute his 90% stake in Severstal and appoint independent board directors in an attempt to convince the City of London that the company can be run in compliance with Western standards of governance. Severstal's challenge is to alter its image after criticism of its treatment of minority shareholders.

One possible suitor for Severstal is Evraz, the Russian steelmaker 41% owned by Roman Abramovich, analysts said.

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