30 Dec 2010 19:29

Norilsk says no offer to buy shares made by Glencore

MOSCOW. Dec 30 (Interfax) - MMC Norilsk Nickel says it has not received an offer from Swiss commodities trader Glencore to buy the 8% block of quasi-treasury shares that the nickel producer is offering to another trading company, Trafigura.

"An allegation by the management of Rusal about Glencore's offer to Norilsk Nickel regarding the purchase of securities owned by the Company's subsidiaries is not true. No offers of such kind were ever received by the Company from Glencore," Norilsk Nickel said in a statement.

In response, Rusal told Interfax: "Norilsk Nickel's statement does not correspond to reality. Rusal affirms that Glencore expressed interest in acquiring that Norilsk Nickel stake."

Oleg Deripaska, chief executive of aluminum company Rusal, which is a Norilsk Nickel shareholder, told reporters on December 29 that Glencore had offered to buy the same packet of quasi-treasury shares the mining company is selling to Trafigura. He declined to comment on details of that offer or what was discussed.

Trafigura is one of the world's biggest commodities traders. Its nearest rival is Switzerland's Glencore, which is a Rusal shareholder. Glencore has offered to trade metals for Norilsk, but has been turned down.