13 Mar 2023 11:34

Sviblov cos, UMMC eying some of Polymetal's Russian assets - paper

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) - Companies controlled by businessman Vladislav Sviblov and Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) are interested in acquiring some of the Russian assets of gold and silver miner Polymetal , national daily Kommersant reported on Saturday, citing sources.

Interfax sources said there might be three groups of potential suitors.

Representatives of Sviblov are not commenting on the possibility of a deal. "We do not comment on rumors. We are not changing our previously announced strategy to redomicile in Kazakhstan," Polymetal said.

Jersey, where Polymetal is currently registered, is included in Russia's list of jurisdictions that are deemed "unfriendly," and this makes mergers and acquisitions difficult for the company, even if they only involve exiting non-key assets.

Moving to a "friendly" jurisdiction, with the Astana International Financial Center tentatively considered preferable, would potentially clear the way for Polymetal to carry out various corporate actions.

Polymetal has said it is considering splitting its Russian and Kazakh businesses. Options included selling the Russian assets to an outside party, a management buyout or a spinoff. But an asset split also requires redomiciliation.

Polymetal CEO Vitaly Nesis said at the company's Investor Day in January that now, rather than a sale, the company was leaning toward a split where shareholders would receive two shares, one for a company with assets in Kazakhstan and the other for a company with assets in Russia. In future, the split could become operational as well as legal, with the construction of a separate POX complex in Kazakhstan.