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Russian miners, Chinese investors interested in Polymetal's Russian assets -FT

Published 21/08/2023, 09:12

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian miners and Chinese investors are among the parties interested in buying gold and silver producer Polymetal International's Russian assets, CEO Vitaly Nesis told the Financial Times.

Polymetal had considered spinning off its Russian business after re-domiciling to Kazakhstan from Jersey, but U.S. sanctions imposed on its Russian assets complicated that process, forcing the group to seek a sale.

Nesis last week said on an investor call that a sale was now the only reasonable option and that the company intended to sell within six to nine months.

He told the FT that Russia's competition regulator and other requirements for foreign asset sales in Russia could hinder the process.

In May Washington included Polymetal's Russian business and Polyus - the largest gold producers in Russia - on its latest list of sanctions targets, aiming to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

Nesis said Russian and Chinese companies, mostly from the mining industry, were among the bidders for the Russian unit, the FT reported.

Russia's Kommersant daily, citing sources, reported on Monday that Polyus was an interested party in Polymetal's assets.

The newspaper also named structures controlled by Vladislav Sviblov, metals producer Seligdar, Ural Mining And Metallurgical Company (UMMC), and Ivan Kulakov, a former business partner of billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich, as interested potential buyers.

A Polymetal spokesperson said the company did not comment on market rumours.

Nesis said he did not believe the Russian authorities would seize Polymetal's assets, as they did last month with those of Frecnh yoghurt maker Danone and Danish brewer Carlsberg (CSE:CARLa).

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