ENRC brokers quit as bid deadline looms

Embattled miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation was further hit by bad news after two its brokers, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, resigned from their roles.

Embattled miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation was further hit by bad news after two its brokers, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, resigned from their roles.

The news comes two weeks after the Serious Fraud Office launched a criminal investigation into the Kazakhstan- and Africa-focused company.

The board are interviewing potential replacement brokers, with sources suggesting Credit Suisse will join Lazard as an adviser to the independent committee of directors at the company.

On Thursday morning the company reported first quarter results that were knocked back by weaker commodity prices and severe winter weather, and admitted it had yet to hear further details of the potential offer from major shareholder Alexander Machkevitch.

Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov bought a 2.86% stake in the group earlier in the week, taking his share in the company to 3.05%.

But this is dwarfed by the combined 43.8% held by Machkevitch and fellow oligarchs Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov, who are considering a joint offer alongside the Kazakh government. FTSE 250 miner Kazakhmys also owns 26%.

On April 19th Machkevitch said he and his associates were 'reviewing a number of potential opportunities which include the possibility of making an offer for ENRC' and was given a deadline by the takeover panel of May 17th to make a bid.

Since that time, the Serious Fraud Office has confirmed that it is focusing on "allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption relating to the activities of the company or its subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Africa".

Shares in ENRC were down 3.9% at 291.5p at 14:52 on Thursday.

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