Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Polyus Gold International Ltd., Russia’s largest gold miner, picked banks including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to arrange a London share sale, two people with knowledge of the plans said.
Two Russian banks, state-run VTB Capital and Renaissance Capital, part-owned by Polyus shareholder Mikhail Prokhorov, will co-manage the sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The sale may happen as soon as the first half, allowing Polyus to expand the proportion of shares available for trading and win inclusion in London’s benchmark FTSE 100 Index, two other people said.
Polyus may seek to raise as much as $1 billion to achieve a so-called free float as large as 25 percent, Valentina Bogomolova, an analyst at UralSib Capital in Moscow, said in an e-mailed response to queries.
Polyus will sell shares held by unit Jenington International as soon as a Russian government commission led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allows Polyus to switch its domicile from Jersey to the U.K. mainland through a share swap with London-based Polyus Gold Plc, the people said. The commission delayed a final ruling on the plan in October.
Jenington owns 7.5 percent of Polyus Gold International, which has a free float of 14.5 percent. Prokhorov’s Onexim Group holds 38 percent of the company and fellow billionaire Suleiman Kerimov’s Nafta Moskva has 40 percent, according to Polyus. The proportion is expected to stay about the same in Polyus Gold Plc, one of the people said.
Polyus Gold International’s press office in Moscow declined to comment. The press offices at VTB Capital and Renaissance Capital declined to comment. Natalia Shchetinina, a spokeswoman for the Russian unit of JPMorgan, and Igor Tolkachev, an external spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, couldn’t immediately comment.
Prokhorov said Dec. 12 he will run for president, challenging Putin in the March vote.
--Editors: John Viljoen, Alex Devine
To contact the reporters on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at firstname.lastname@example.org; Yuliya Fedorinova in Moscow at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at firstname.lastname@example.org