March 31, 2008 / 9:01 AM / 9 years ago

RUSAL expects to buy Norilsk stake before end April

MOSCOW, March 31 (Reuters) - The world's No.1 aluminium producer, Russia's United Company RUSAL, said on Monday it expected to complete a deal to buy a stake in Russian metals group Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) before the end of April.

"The deal (to buy the stake) will be closed within a month, before the end of April, as it had been stipulated by an agreement signed in November," a UC RUSAL spokeswoman said.

"The parties are finishing working with technical issues necessary to implement the deal. Its basic parameters remain unchanged," she said without giving more details.

UC RUSAL agreed in November to buy a 25 percent plus one share stake in Norilsk (NKELyq.L), the world's top producer of nickel and platinum group metal palladium from one of its main owners, tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov.

Prokhorov agreed to receive an 11 percent stake in RUSAL and an undisclosed cash consideration for his Norilsk stake.

UC RUSAL, formed through a merger of Russia's top aluminium producer RUSAL with a minor domestic rival SUAL and some assets belonging to commodities trader Glencore, has stated its long-term intention to merge the two companies.

Norilsk is also considering a merger offer from iron and steel firm Metalloinvest, owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov. (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys; Editing by David Holmes)

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