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Polyus shares rise 11 pct after co-owner share bid

02.06.2008

MOSCOW, June 2 (Reuters) - Polyus Gold's (PLZL.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Moscow-traded stock rose more than 11 percent on Monday after part-owner Mikhail Prokhorov offered to buy 6.54 percent of the Russian miner, the world's fourth-largest gold firm by reserves. Prokhorov's investment company, Onexim, on Friday offered to buy the treasury shares from Polyus unit Jennington International for an undisclosed sum. [ID:nL30741212]

Analysts estimated the offer price was above the $73.44 per share, or $350 million, offered in May by Britain-based asset management company Kazimir Partners for a 2.5 percent stake in Polyus. This offer has since expired.

Polyus management urged shareholders to reject the Kazimir bid, saying it had enough cash to fund its investment plans without external loans until 2010.

Prokhorov is chairman of Polyus and his Onexim company already owns about 30 percent of the miner, which supplied about a quarter of Russia's gold output last year. Prokhorov's former business partner, Vladimir Potanin, also retains a large stake.

The Jennington shares could prove important in a battle for control of Polyus between the two billionaires, analysts said.

Vedomosti business daily cited Sergei Batekhin, deputy chief executive of Potanin's Interros company, as saying Interros might also be interested in the shares.

"This will provide upward pressure on the share price in the short term as the market participants may anticipate that the offer may be higher than the recent Kazimir offer," Deutsche Bank analysts Mikhail Seleznev and Olga Okuneva said in a note.

Polyus shares rose 10.5 percent by 0940 GMT to 1,646 roubles on the MICEX exchange, greatly outperforming a 1.3 percent rise on the bourse's metals and mining index . Polyus's London-traded stock (PLZLq.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose 8.7 percent. (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Robin Paxton; Editing by Quentin Bryar)


Source: Reuters

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