Russia's Acron agrees $1.5 bln potash project financing

Thu Nov 1, 2012 7:00am EDT

* Three banks get share in Acron's project for $406 mln

* Vnesheconombank to lend $1.1 bln to Acron in 2014

* Acron's Talitsky mine to start potash production in 2016

MOSCOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Russia's Acron , one of Europe's top 10 mineral fertiliser makers, has agreed $1.5 billion of equity and debt financing for a potash project in Russia, which could boost its output in four years.

Acron has attracted Russian state bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), Eurasian Development Bank and Raiffeisenbank to finance construction of its Talitsky mine in Russia's Urals region, which aims to start potash production in 2016, the company said on Thursday.

In a first stage, the three banks have acquired equity in Acron's firm which operates the project for 12.8 billion roubles ($408 million).

VEB bought 20 percent minus one share, Eurasian Development Bank received 9.1 percent and Raiffeisenbank received 8.95 percent. Acron owns the remaining share of the project.

These investments will allow full-scale construction of the Talitsky mine to start in the fourth quarter of 2012. The total capital expenditure required for the project is estimated at $2 billion, excluding the cost of the mining licence for the Talitsky area, which was about $700 million.

In the second part of the deal, VEB will provide debt financing in the form of a $1.1 billion credit line facility for further development of the project in 2014.

($1 = 31.3565 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Natalia Shurmina; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Jason Bush and Mark Potter)

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