Bloomberg News

Alrosa Plans to Buy Back Gas Assets From VTB Group Under Option

October 05, 2011

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Alrosa, Russia’s diamond mining monopoly, will buy back stakes in two gas assets sold to VTB Group during the 2009 slump in the market for the gemstones.

Alrosa retained an option though 2012 to repurchase the 90 percent stakes in the Urengoy gas company and Geotransgas, the mining company said today in an e-mailed statement.

The diamond producer may spend $1 billion to buy the stakes back from VTB after selling them for $620 million, Vedomosti said today, citing unidentified people familiar with the deal. Alrosa didn’t provide detail on the price.

More than 5 billion rubles ($153 million) was invested in the assets since VTB bought them in 2009, preparing them to start gas production this year, according to Alrosa’s statement.

Alrosa decided to buy back the assets earlier as otherwise it would have had to cover VTB’s expenditure on development, the newspaper said.

The deal won’t boost Alrosa’s planned debt this year, Alrosa said. VTB is acting as Alrosa’s adviser on developing the gas assets and selecting a potential strategic investor.

--Editors: Torrey Clark, Alastair Reed

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuliya Fedorinova in Moscow at yfedorinova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net


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