Sale of Polyus shares sparks speculation of merger with Polymetal

The sale of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's holding in Polyus Gold, a London-listed miner, has prompted speculation of a merger between Polyus and FTSE 100 miner Polymetal.

The sale of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's holding in Polyus Gold, a London-listed miner, has prompted speculation of a merger between Polyus and FTSE 100 miner Polymetal.

Following approval from UK regulators, Prohorov sold his stake in Polyus for a total of $3.6bn, which marked a discount to the closing price on Thursday. Zelimkhan Mutsoyev, a big player on the Russian retail scene, purchased 18.5% of Polyus, while Gavriil Yushvayev, a fruit juice tycoon, bought the other 19.28%.

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Speculators believe that the deal could lead to a merger between Polyus and Polymetal, which would result in a mining company worth $17bn.

VTB CApital analyst Nikolay Sosnovskiy said: "A merger with Polymetal is possible - it will depend on how Polyus will develop."

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Back in January Polymetal denied that it was in talks with Polyus.

Polyus' share price was up 1.26% to 221.75p by 14:45, while Polymatal's shares climbed 2.7% to 971.50p.

NR

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