Uralkali confirms sale negotiations

Uralkali has confirmed that Madura Holding Limited, owned by Uralkali’s chairman Dmitry Rybolovlev, is looking to sell the controlling stake in the phosphate fertilizer company.

“As far as the company is aware, the discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty about the terms and structure of such a transaction or that an agreement will be reached,” the company said in a press-release.

Unnamed sources told business daily, Kommersant, that Rybolovlev is in talks with several Russian billionaires to sell his 65.6% share in the company, which is the second largest phosphate fertilizer producer in Russia and controls about 10% of the world market, at a rate higher than the current market value,.

Sources said that Rybolovlev had been wanting to sell for a while but according to the source, the deal terms kept changing. A representative for Mikhail Prokhorov’s company ONEXIM confirmed to Kommersant that Prokhorov was interested in acquiring the company but decided against it.

Other sources said that majority owner of Sistema, Vladimir Evtushenkov as well as Norilsk Nickel shareholder, Vladimir Potanin, were also in talks. Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Lisin, and Polyus Gold co-owner Suleiman Kerimov had also been approached.

Uralkali posted a FY 2009 net profit of 9.1 billion Roubles, but the figure was down 59% from a year before.