Rusal to get $1.4bn from Nornickel share buyback

Aluminum smelter. (Reference image by UC Rusal Photo Gallery, Wikimedia Commons).

Russian aluminum giant Rusal will receive $1.4 billion from the sale of part of its stake in Nornickel under the mining group’s share buyback programme, analysts said and Reuters calculations showed.

Nornickel said on Wednesday it is buying 3.4% of its shares for $2 billion, with a pro-rata ratio of 0.084 as shareholders tendered 40.6% of its share capital, to compensate for a smaller recent dividend.

“The buyback results announced are positive for minorities, who tendered the shares and Rusal, on the back of excellent pro rata ratio,” analysts at BCS said in a note.

Nornickel is expected to buy 2.3% of its shares from Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer outside China, Reuters calculations showed.

Rusal, which owns 27.8% of Nornickel shares, did not reply to a request for comment.

Nornickel will later cancel the shares purchased during the buyback, except for 0.5% which it will keep for its employee share ownership programme.

This cancellation will keep Nornickel’s shareholder structure broadly stable, analysts at Sova Capital said.

Sova Capital expects businessman Vladimir Potanin, who did not take part in the buyback, to remain Nornickel’s largest shareholder with 35.6% and Rusal’s stake to decline to 26.2%.

Rusal has said that it would use proceeds from the buyback to finance its investment programme and would consider the partial repayment of its debt to Russia’s largest lender Sberbank.

(By Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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