MOSCOW, July 19 VTB Capital, the investment banking arm of Russia's No.2 lender VTB , has acquired a 4.35 percent stake in Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska's En+ Group, the companies said on Tuesday.
VTB Capital paid $500 million for the stake it bought from Basic Element in a deal it considers "strategic".
"Our partnership is a very important milestone as we grow towards taking En+ Group public," Artem Volynets, the chief executive officer of En+ Group, said in a statement.
The deal is the first step towards a share listing of En+ Group, after its subsidiary, the world's top aluminium producer UC RUSAL held an initial public offering (IPO) at the beginning of 2010.
A source close to the group told Reuters En+ was considering an IPO in the next 2 to 3 years and was looking at Asian bourses, the region of its key export markets.
En+ was valued at around $11.5 billion by the VTB Capital deal, but the source said the group expected to get a higher valuation at the time of the IPO.
En+ Group, which owns 47.4 percent of RUSAL, also owns all of EuroSibEnergo, the power group it hopes to float in Hong Kong. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Polina Devitt; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)