Rusal to buy into Norilsk Nickel

Vladimir Potanin, billionaire and co-owner of Norilsk Nickel, says he will not buy his partner Mikhail Prokhorov's 25% stake in the company. Instead, United Company Rusal, owned by Oleg Deripaska, says it will buy the stake in the world's biggest nickel f

Interros had until today to find the money in response to Prokhorov's offer. Interros CEO Andrey Klishas says the holding did not treat Prokhorov's price as realistic.

Norilsk Nickel's share price slid on the announcement that Interros would not be buying the stake.

The deal came as no surprise to analysts, who doubted whether Potanin could find the $US 15 billion. Analysts also believe a state-friendly owner for the company is the government's long-term ambition.

Tim McCutcheon, metals analyst and partner at DBM capital, says such a result was predetermined.

“If you think about the size of the deal that's required for Mr Potanin to buy his partner’s stake – well over $US 15 billion, all in cash – frankly, it was sort of a ”pie in the sky“ type deal. It's been understood from the day one that Potanin would not be able to fulfill the terms set for him by Prokhorov. So only Rusal will be able to buy Prokhorov’s stake, giving him stake in Rusal plus cash,” commented McCutcheon.