Rusal on global push; sets buy of Norilsk stake

Dec 21, 2007 | 09:59 AM | Clementine Wallop

United Co. Rusal is pushing for growth in a big way, saying Friday it will move ahead with the purchase of a strategic stake in MMC Norilsk Nickel.

The purchase of a 25-percent-plus-one-share stake will pave the way for it to become one of the world's largest miners, with plans to pursue a full takeover of Russia's largest mining company once the initial purchase is completed.

Rusal gave no financial details of the transaction, but the stake is worth $13 billion based on Norilsk's closing share price Thursday.

Combined, the two Moscow-based companies would be valued at $100 billion, have $25 billion in annual sales, produce 12 percent of the world's aluminum and more nickel and palladium than any other company. It would be Russia's second-largest company after OAO Gazprom, and could challenge BHP Billiton, Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto in the ranks of the world's largest diversified metals producers.....

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