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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Alexei Mordashov, Russia’s steel baron

IFM_Alexei Mordashov
Alexei Mordashov has stepped down as a director at Nordgold, while holding up to half of Nordgold's shares

Alexei Mordashov, Russia’s wealthiest oligarch hit the headlines in March 2024, as he transferred control of a USD 1.1 billion stake in a mining company to his wife.

Marina Aleksandrovna Mordashova became “a person with significant control” of Nordgold, according to the United Kingdom filings, which was accessed by news agency Bloomberg.

Mordashova now holds between 50 and 75% of the voting rights in Nordgold, which Reuters reported targeted a valuation of up to USD 5 billion in 2023 when it was planning an initial public offering.

Alexei Mordashov has stepped down as a director at Nordgold, while holding up to half of Nordgold’s shares. The billionaire has also resigned from the board of the German travel firm TUI, which Mordashov rescued from bankruptcy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexei Mordashov is known more due to his venture Severstal, which is a prominent player in the global steel industry. Established in 1955 as Cherepovets Steel Mill, Severstal has developed into a multifaceted enterprise encompassing different aspects of the steel manufacturing process, such as mining, steel production, processing, distribution, and sales. The company, which has its headquarters in Cherepovets, Russia, has made a name for itself as a major market force. As of 2024, his net worth is around 2,540 crores USD, according to Forbes.

The Cherepovets Steel Mill, one of the most sophisticated and productive steel mills in the world, is the company’s main asset. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and production facilities, Severstal can manufacture an extensive array of superior steel products that serve a variety of industries, such as the automotive, construction, machinery, and energy sectors. A safe and efficient supply chain is ensured by Severstal’s operation of mining assets in Russia, which produces iron ore and coking coal, necessary raw materials for the production of steel.

With a constant focus on innovation and sustainability, Severstal has also invested in R&D activities to streamline operations, raise the calibre of its output, and lessen its environmental effects. The venture has placed a number of programmes to reduce its carbon footprint, maximise resource use, and encourage eco-friendly practices across the board.

Severstal has a large worldwide footprint in addition to its presence in the home market, with sales offices and distribution facilities positioned thoughtfully all over the world. The company maintains strong relationships with customers worldwide and contributes to the global steel supply chain by exporting its products to over 50 countries.

Severstal has shown resilience and adaptability in the face of obstacles like shifting commodity prices, geopolitical unrest, and regulatory changes. It has done this by utilising its knowledge, assets, and business alliances to maintain growth and profitability. Severstal is still a major player in the steel sector and is well-positioned for future success in the changing global market thanks to its dedication to quality, innovation, and sustainability.

The majority holding company in a joint venture that was previously owned by the Spanish company Windar Renovables has been acquired by the Russian steelmaker Severstal. Following the acquisition of New Solutions and Technologies LLC, Severstal now owns all shares in its previous joint venture with Windar, which produced wind turbine towers.

Since April 8, Severstal has owned all of the holding company, according to the state registry. One of many Western businesses to leave Russia since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022 was Windar Renovables, which pulled out of the joint venture in December 2023.

In March 2023, experts said that the Spanish company had been considering selling its 51% share in the joint venture to Severstal, which owned a 49% share. In response to increasing orders from overseas manufacturers, Windar entered the Russian market in 2018 and established a joint venture with Severstal and the state nanotechnology company Rusnano to produce steel towers for wind turbines. In 2021, Severstal acquired Rusnano, raising its ownership to 49%. The facility in the port city of Taganrog, southwest Russia, has the capacity to build up to 150 towers annually.

Image Credit: World Economic Forum

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