Author`s name Olga Savka

The great fortune of Russia's only female billionaire grows still

Elena Baturina the only Russian billionaire, strikes a record deal

Elena Baturina, the wife of Moscow Mayor, Yury Luzhkov, proudly holds the title of the only Russian female billionaire. Baturina has recently sold one-third of her business – all cement works that she owned – to the Eurocement group. The deal was evaluated at the record sum of $800 million, which increased Elena Baturina's fortune to $2.1 billion.

The company Inteko, in which Baturina owns 99 percent of stocks, started buying cement works in 2002. The company had three enterprises under its control two years later. Elena Baturina's firm obtained the last possession on the Russian cement market last autumn, when Inteko purchased two more factories. It is worth mentioning that Inteko was going to continue such activity in the future as well. Therefore, the news about the transaction with Eurocement became a surprise for the Russian market. The sum of the contract became even more shocking. Experts say that cement works in Russia cost $20-35 per one ton of their capacity at the moment of the deal, although Eurocement spent $100 on every production ton.

Eurocement paid too much to Inteko, although the company's administration is absolutely satisfied with the deal, saying that it is the largest transaction that has ever been struck on the Russian market since 2002. It was also said that the deal became the continuation of the process to implement the strategic plan to create a powerful holding, which would correspond to world standards of corporate management. The total output of the concern is said to make up not less than 21.5 million tons in 2005. Eurocement will therefore control almost a half of the Russian cement market.

Specialists have already calculated that the buyer on the contract did not have enough money to pay for the deal: the holding's overall profit was evaluated at about $330 million last year. Eurocement had to raise large loans to be able to pay the seller.

Elena Baturina, the only Russian female billionaire, will most likely concentrate her attention on construction and real estate management. Market specialists say, however, that her company will most likely develop a new project in the near future instead.

On the photo: Elena Baturina