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Business News

Last blow from ENRC before it is taken over

ENRC, the scandal-struck Kazakhstan miner beset by corruption allegations and boardroom bust-ups, offered shareholders one final disappointment yesterday with poor results ahead of being taken private.

Pre-tax profit for the first half of 2013 slumped to $309m (£200m), down 55.6 per cent on the same six months last year, while revenue fell by 1 per cent to $3.2bn.

Its chief executive Felix Vulis pointed to a "weaker pricing environment for the majority" of the group's products, such as ferroalloys and iron ore.

He also admitted that it was a "difficult time" for a company under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over claims of fraud and bribery in Kazakhstan and Africa. After a turbulent six years on the London Stock Exchange, ENRC is close to being bought out by its founders and the Kazakhstan government for $4.6bn.

An independent committee set up to assess the fairness of this offer reiterated yesterday that the offer "materially undervalues" ENRC. However, 80 per cent of investors have already accepted the terms, so the committee has conceded that there is little other option but for remaining shareholders to do the same.