25 Oct 2010 10:57

Metalloinvest may sell minority stake to Mitsui - Independent

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) - Mitsui may acquire a minority stake in Alisher Usmanov's Metalloinvest holding ahead of a listing in London next year, the Independent reported on Sunday, citing informed sources.

Metalloinvest "wants to secure Mitsui as a cornerstone investor so as to provide 'a benchmark' for the value of the flotation," the Independent said, citing a source close to Metalloinvest.

"For example, selling a 10 per cent stake at $1.5 billion-$2 billion would value the group at $15 billion-$20 billion - though some experts believe that Metalloinvest could be valued as high as $30 billion when it joins the London Stock Exchange in 2011," it said. Sale of a minority stake would give investors confidence Metalloinvest deserves the high valuation, the Independent said.

"The deal is expected to give Mitsui rights to be the agent to sell Metalloinvest's products, such as iron ore and steel, into Asia," it said.

"It is hoped a deal will be struck by Christmas."

Metalloinvest controls steel producers Urals Steel and Oskol Electrometallurgical Combine (OEMK) and iron ore producers Mikhailovsky GOK and Lebedinsky GOK .