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US, Chinese funds to take part in Rusal IPO: report

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Dec 25, 2009
A US-British asset management giant and a Chinese sovereign wealth fund have agreed to take part in the Hong Kong IPO of the world's largest aluminium producer UC Rusal, a report said Friday.

Black Rock and the China Investment Corporation (CIC) have given their initial agreement to take part in the initial public offering along with Russian state banks whose interest was already confirmed, daily Vedomosti said.

Quoting bankers close to the operation, it said that Rusal directors had late Wednesday agreed a valuation for the Russian metals giant of 16-22 billion dollars (11-15 billion euros) for the IPO.

Vedomosti said this would make Rusal -- whose majority shareholder is the oligarch Oleg Deripaska -- the largest aluminium firm worldwide by capitalisation, ahead of US firm Alcoa which is valued 15.9 billion dollars.

Sources said earlier this month said that Rusal won conditional approval for the IPO from the Hong Kong bourse, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether its billions of dollars of debt could thwart the plan.

Rusal plans to float 10 percent of its shares valued at around 2.0 billion dollars in by far the biggest IPO by a Russian company since the economic crisis.

Vedomosti said that Rusal is now planning to set the IPO price and complete the transaction by January 20. Pre-marketing will start on January 5 and roadshow on January 11.

Around a third of the shares will go to Europe-based funds and another third to Chinese funds. The Hong Kong bourse is not expected to allow private investors to take part.

The involvement of investors like Black Rock -- which has 1.44 trillion dollars of assets under management -- should attract smaller funds and mean Rusal has no problem attracting interest in the IPO, Vedomosti said.

Rusal and Black Rock declined to comment, Vedomosti said.

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