Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov reportedly receives offer for his stake in potash fertilizer producer Uralkali; Kerimov's holding believed to be worth US$3B

Mathew Kearney

Mathew Kearney

Sep 9, 2013 – M&A Navigator

LONDON , September 9, 2013 () – Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov has received an offer for his stake in domestic potash fertilisers maker Uralkali OAO (LON:URKA) and could possibly sell it, the Kommersant and the Russian-language edition of Forbes magazine reported today citing sources.

The rumours emerged after Russian lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky said in a Facebook posting that Kerimov had already divested a large portion of his more than 20% stake. He quoted a well-connected source. The purchase price for the stake was not specified. According to Reuters, Kerimov's holding is worth some USD3bn (EUR2.3bn).

Nafta Moskva, Kerimov's investment vehicle rejected the reports, when contacted by Reuters, and refused to comment on whether Kerimov planned to exit Uralkali. The target also declined to comment.

Belarus previously accused Kerimov of abuse of power after the businessman decided to abandon the joint venture with Belarusian state fertilizer producer Belaruskali in July.

Kommersant cited Dobrovinsky as saying that Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko supported the sale. According to sources, the move will help the businessman settle his dispute with Uralkali's management. Potential bidders include AFK Sistema OAO's owner (MCX:AFKS) Vladimir Evtushenkov, OAO RussNeft's founder Mikhail Gutseriev and former banker Vladimir Kogan, the reports showed.

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