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Russian Businessman Aims for ALROSA, BHP Diamond Asset Merger

May 28, 2012 6:16 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Businessman Suleiman Kerimov is hoping to merge a prospective stake in ALROSA with BHP ‎Billiton’s diamond assets, Bloomberg reported quoting Moscow based Vedomosti.‎

The report indicated that Kerimov has urged the Russian government to offer 51 percent of ‎ALROSA under its asset sale program, merge it with BHP Billiton's diamond assets and hold a ‎public offering of shares in the combined company.‎

In March, ALROSA’s board advised a gradual sale of the state’s interest, starting with the sale ‎of a 14 percent stake in the miner.‎

Anton Averin, a spokesman for Kerimov’s Nafta Moskva investment company told Bloomberg ‎that the sale of a 51 percent stake in ALROSA make sense as the price would include a ‎premium for control, while selling smaller lots will benefit ALROSA’s management. Nafta ‎Moskva currently holds a 1 percent stake in ALROSA.‎

BHP Billiton announced in November 2011 that it intends to exit the diamond market as ‎the ‎industry does not fit its strategy to invest in large, long life, upstream and expandable ‎assets.‎

Separately, New York-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) has backed ‎away from the sale of BHP's Ekati mine valued at up to $2 billion, the Financial Times reported.  ‎
Tags: Alrosa, BHP Billiton, Deena Taylor
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