LONDON May 6 Eurasian Natural Resources
Corporation PLC, one of the largest London-listed
mining groups, is working on a plan to split in two by spinning
off its controversial African mining arm, the Sunday Times
ENRC, which has been at the centre of high-profile corporate
governance rows in the past two years, plans to put the division
into a new London-listed company, and hand the shares to its
current investors, the newspaper said, citing sources close to
Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are working
on the spin-off, which has been given the tentative title ENRC
International, according to the Sunday Times.
The demerger would be the largest corporate split in years.
With corporate balance sheets bursting with cash - Britain's
top 100 companies have more than 130 billion pounds at their
disposal - executives are wary of opportunistic bids.
Companies hope that a split into smaller businesses will
create more value for shareholders, and protect them against
ENRC has tried to draw a line under a corporate governance
storm that hit last year, when the controversial 2010 purchase
of an expropriated Congo copper operation was followed by a
boardroom spat that pitted the founding shareholders against
some directors. (ID:nL6E7IS1GU)
ENRC shares closed at 520 pence last week, giving it a
market value of 6.7 billion pounds.
ENRC officials could not immediately be reached for comment