UC RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium and alumina producer, today announces that it is to proceed with the purchase of a 25% plus one share interest in MMC Norilsk Nickel from ONEXIM Group. This acquisition progresses UC RUSAL’s plan to create Russia’s first diversified global metals and mining corporation.
The agreement for UC RUSAL to purchase this strategic stake from ONEXIM was signed this November and has come into effect on 21 December. ONEXIM Group will become an 11% shareholder of the enlarged UC RUSAL, receive the balance of the consideration in cash and be granted the right to appoint a representative to the UC RUSAL Board of Directors.
Alexander Bulygin, Chief Executive of UC RUSAL, commenting on the transaction, said: “We intend to create Russia’s first global diversified metals and mining company. Our company will join the ranks of the world’s top five metals and mining giants providing significant growth for the company to its shareholders and reinforcing the international reputation of Russia as a strong industrial state. This deal is prompted by the development of the global metals and mining industry and we believe that Norilsk Nickel’s shareholders, management and employees will support the establishment of a new world leader.”
UC RUSAL has already received commitments from ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, and Merrill Lynch to provide a credit facility to finance the cash component of the consideration.
To complete the deal, UC RUSAL requires the approval of antitrust regulatory authorities in seven countries. The company has already applied to the relevant authorities in these countries and expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter of 2008.