Rusal rejects a £5.4bn share buyback offer from mining giant Norilsk Nickel

City A.M. Reporter
THE board of the world’s top aluminium producer Rusal yesterday unanimously rejected an $8.75bn (£5.4bn) offer by mining giant Norilsk Nickel to buy back its 15 per cent stake in Norilsk.

“The Board of Directors believes the proposed terms of the deal do not reflect the fundamental value of a major stake in Norilsk Nickel, which remains a strategic investment for Rusal,” it said in a statement.

The $306 per share offer for a 15 per cent stake – a 20 per cent premium to the weighted average market price for the past six months – was approved by Norilsk’s board and was valid until 2pm yesterday.

Norilsk said that it plans now to make a buyback offer to other shareholders.

“Norilsk’s board will meet in the near future to discuss the parameters of the buyback. The date for the meeting has not been set yet,” a Norilsk spokeswoman said.

Norilsk Nickel made the buyback offer last month in its third attempt to repurchase the shares and resolve a long-running dispute between rival oligarchs Vladimir Potanin, whose Interros investment company holds about 30 per cent of Norilsk, and Oleg Deripaska, who controls Rusal.

Interros, Potanin’s investment vehicle, said that it would propose to minority shareholders buyback conditions similar to those in the offer to Rusal.