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Polyus Gold Gains After Fund Makes Offer for Stake (Update 3)


May 19 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Polyus Gold, Russia's biggest producer of the metal, rose the most since it starting trading in Moscow two years ago after a U.K.-based investment fund Kazimir Partners Ltd. made an offer for a stake in the company.

Polyus will review the bid, Elena Evstigneeva, a spokeswoman for the mining company, said today in a telephone interview from Moscow. She declined to provide further details. Polyus climbed 12 percent in Moscow trading.

Kazimir bid $350 million for a 2.5 percent stake held by Polyus unit Jennington International, a 17 percent premium over the May 16 close on the dollar-based RTS exchange, Vedomosti said today. The offer may help billionaire Polyus investor Vladimir Potanin gain control of the board, Vedomosti said.

Potanin and fellow billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov have been trying for more than a year to agree on a division of assets after deciding to end their business partnership because of differences over strategy. The two men each hold about 30 percent in Polyus, Kommersant reported in March.

Polyus increased 182.73 rubles to close at 1,695.74 rubles, the largest advance since the shares began trading in May 2006, after Polyus was spun off from OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel. The stock has advanced 50 percent this year, valuing Polyus at 323.2 billion rubles ($13.6 million).

Prokhorov became the largest shareholder in Polyus in October and reinstated Evgeny Ivanov as chief executive officer. That prompted Potanin to demand in January the appointment of more independent directors. Shareholders voted to support the current board at an extraordinary meeting on April 7. They will meet again in June to re-elect the board.

Source: Bloomberg

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