United Co. Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, received approval from Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service to buy 29 percent plus one share in OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the body said on its Web site today.
Moscow-based Rusal needs antitrust permission from seven countries to buy the stake. The aluminum producer agreed to buy 25 percent of Norilsk from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov after his former business partner Vladimir Potanin declined to buy the shares. Prokhorov will get 11 percent of Rusal and an unspecified amount in cash for his 25 percent stake.
Prokhorov needs to untangle his joint ownership of the KM- Invest holding company with Potanin to be able to sell an additional 4 percent in Norilsk held by KM-Invest.
The stake purchase would be a first step to a takeover of Russia's largest miner as Rusal seeks to become one of the world's top five metals and mining companies.
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