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30 Jul, 2008 05:37

Rusal denies Norilsk merger talks between Deripaska and Potanin

Rusal denies Norilsk merger talks between Deripaska and Potanin

Russia's largest aluminium company, Rusal, has denied that Rusal majority shareholder, Oleg Deripaska, and Vladimir Potanin of Norilsk Nickel have had any talks concerning a merger between the two companies. This comes after a report in daily newspaper Ko

If the merger goes ahead it could create a firm worth $100 Billion. The report stated that Rusal owner, Oleg Deripaska, decided to start talks after Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a friend of prime minister Putin, accepted an invitation from Norilsk shareowner Vladimir Potanin to head his firm.

Potanin has proposed merging Rusal, Norilsk and Metalloinvest, owned by Alisher Usmanov, and is suggesting the merged entity seek coal and chemical assets.

Late on Wednesday Rusal issued a statement denying the report, denying that any confidentiality agreement has been discussed or signed between Deripaska and Potanin, and adding that 'UC RUSAL considers its acquisition of 25% plus two shares as a strategic investment and still intends to pursue all legal remedies to protect its interests as the company’s shareholder.'