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German/UAE group buys Indian chrome plant GMR

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HAMBURG: German metals group Cronimet said it bought with a group of unnamed Dubai-based investors a 70.5 percent shareholding in Indian <link _top>ferro chromium producer GMR <link _top>Ferro Alloys & Industries Ltd.

The seller was India's GMR Group and no price was given.

Privately-owned Cronimet said in a statement approval from Indian competition authorities had already been received.

GMR <link _top>Ferro Alloys, based in Tekkali Mandal in India's Andhra Pradesh, produces about 27,500 tonnes of <link _top>ferro chromium annually, Cronimet said.

About 75 percent of output is exported to Europe, China, Japan and South Korea.

Cronimet said the move continued its international expansion strategy.

The group has global operations in <link _top>recycling of <link _top>steel alloy scrap and trading of <link _top>ferro-alloys and <link _top>chromium nickel alloys plus a wide range of other metals largely focused on the <link _top>stainless steel industry.

It has 50 locations worldwide and handled 1.05 million tonnes of metal sales in 2007 generating turnover of 3.2 billion euros in 2007.

A consortium headed by Cronimet in April this year acquired the mining rights to a <link _top>chrome ore deposit in the Bushfeld geographical complex in South Africa.

Privately-owned Cronimet plans to start South African <link _top>chrome ore mining by the end of 2008 and hopes 2009 ore production will reach 400,000 tonnes.

In 2004, the group bought a majority shareholding in Armenian <link _top>copper mine Zangezur <link _top>Copper and <link _top>Molybdenum Combine which it has been steadily expanding under a $60 million investment programme.