Norilsk Nickel ups Rusal stake buyout offer: company

27th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian miner Norilsk Nickel said on Monday it could up its offer to buy out aluminium giant UC Rusal's stake in the company to put an end to squabbling over control of the world's largest palladium and nickel producer.

"Norilsk Nickel management is ready to discuss a possibility of increasing the price of the offer," the company said in a statement without giving a precise figure.

Earlier this month Norilsk Nickel said it is ready to buy out Rusals' 25-percent stake in the company for 12 billion dollars.

Norilsk Nickel has been at the centre of a shareholder feud between billionaire Oleg Deripaska's UC Rusal and billionaire Vladimir Potanin's Interros, which has also 25 percent.

Deripaska and Potanin both want to control the nickel producer.

Norilsk Nickel also said UC Rusal shareholders Mikhail Prokhorov and Viktor Vekselberg also supported the offer.

The deadline for UC Rusal to get back to Norilsk Nickel on its proposal expires at 1200 GMT on Tuesday, the miner said, warning that if talks failed it would have to look for other ways "to neutralise the negative impact of the shareholder conflict on the company's current operations and its strategic development."

© 2010 AFP

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