13 Oct 2010 18:51

Sale of Norilsk Nickel stake in OGK-3 possible

SOCHI. Oct 13 (Interfax) - Head of the Russian holding company Interros Vladimir Potanin considers a possibility the sale of Norilsk Nickel's stake in generating company OGK-3 , assessing its value at $2.5-$3 billion.

"OGK-3 is a non-core asset, so we are waiting for management to propose an appropriate way to divest that will not lead to a decrease in price," Potanin told the press.

Interros owns a blocking stake in Norilsk Nickel.

UC RusAL supports the idea of selling the stake in OGK, the company told Interfax. Earlier RusAl put this packet between $2.4 billion and $2.8 billion.

Norilsk Nickel itself also supported selling off its non-core assets such as OGK-3. However, the company has indicated that it currently does not feel a pressing need for cash funds. In addition, the value of OGK-3 shares is significantly below the acquisition price paid by Norilsk Nickel.

However, OGK-3's shares went up on the MICEX on Wednesday evening following Potanin's announced that the packet would have a premium for the market. By 6:15 pm Moscow time, shares in OGK-3 on the MICEX had increased by 0.7% to 1.752 rubles per share.

Norilsk Nickel currently directly owns 60.66% of the shares in OGK-3 and 15.24% from VTB Capital (according to the genco's financial report for the second quarter of 2010).

Therefore the value of one share in the OGK-3 has been set by Norilsk Nickel at $0.0694-$0.0832, or 2.09-2.51 rubles per share (with the dollar at 30.1% rubles/$1), which is 19%-43% above current market quotations.