Severstal in bid for Crew Gold

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The Independent Online

Russian steel group Severstal will formalise a $400m (£265m) bid for Surrey-headquartered miner Crew Gold next week. Severstal must make a formal offer as it has 26.59 per cent of Crew's shares – beyond the threshold that forces a predator to make a bid.

However, the situation is complicated by rival shareholder Endeavour, run by Frank Giustra, the Canadian magnate and friend of former US president Bill Clinton. Endeavour owns more than 40 per cent of Crew, but bought the shares in Norway rather than Canada. Crew is listed in Oslo, Toronto and Frankfurt. Under Norwegian rules, Mr Giustra is not forced to make an offer.

It is understood that Severstal and several minority shareholders have complained to Canadian regulators that this is against the spirit of takeover rules.

Endeavour is not expected to accept Severstal's offer as the share price it represents is lower than Mr Giustra has paid for the stock.

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