* Rusal rejects Norilsk's $12.8 bln offer for 20 pct stake
* Focus turns to March 11 EGM
MOSCOW, March 3 The board of Russian aluminium
giant RUSAL (0486.HK) rejected on Thursday Norilsk Nickel's
(GMKN.MM) offer to buy 20 percent of its shares, sources close
to RUSAL board told Reuters.
Last month, Norilsk offered to buy 20 percent of its shares
from RUSAL for $12.8 billion, which would leave the aluminium
giant -- majority owned by entrepreneur Oleg Deripaska -- with
a 5 percent stake. The deadline for the offer is March 4.
Norilsk Nickel and RUSAL could not be reached for immediate
RUSAL's decision to keep the stake means the fight for
control of Norilsk Nickel between entrepreneurs Deripaska and
Vladimir Potanin will continue.
The next round is set for March 11, when Norilsk Nickel
will hold an EGM to elect a new board.
Deripaska controls 25 percent of the company through RUSAL,
while Potanin holds roughly the same amount via his Interros
However, representatives loyal to Potanin hold a majority
on the current board, allowing them to control the strategy of
the world's largest nickel and palladium miner.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; writing by Alfred Kueppers and