Russia's SUEK puts IPO on hold as ownership changes

MOSCOW, June 8 Wed Jun 8, 2011 1:24pm BST

MOSCOW, June 8 (Reuters) - Russian coal miner SUEK has put on hold plans for an initial public share offer while its core owners have completed a change in their respective holdings, one of the main shareholders, Andrei Melnichenko, said on Wednesday.

Melnichenko said that in the middle of the year he would complete the purchase of part of a stake held by his business partner Sergei Popov. Melnichenko would then control the company, and Popov would retain less than 25 percent.

The company will return to its IPO plan once that deal is complete, Melnichenko said.

"Not in the nearest future," he added.

SUEK was technically ready to float its shares as early as a year ago. Industry sources said it could raise up to $1.5 billion and the coal unit was tentatively valued at $7-$8 billion, Kommersant newspaper said last year. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Melissa Akin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)