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RusAl obtains first part of $1 bln unsecured bridge loan

MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - RusAl has received the first $674 million of a $1-billion unsecured bridge financing facility ahead of its merger with two other companies, the world's third largest aluminum producer said Friday.

The bridge loan is arranged by Paris-based BNP Paribas, Calyon and Natixis, and New York-based Citigroup, who are acting as mandated lead arrangers. BNP Paribas has been appointed the documentation bank, and will act as a facility agent, RusAl said.

RusAl's creditors gave their consent Thursday to the company's merger with Sual [RTS: SUAL], Russia's second-largest aluminum producer, and the alumina production assets of Switzerland's Glencore.

The two Russian aluminum giants and Glencore signed an agreement October 9 to merge into the world's largest aluminum producer, United Company Russian Aluminum. The creditors of RusAl and Sual have approved the merger. Russia's Anti-Monopoly Service is expected to announce its ruling on the deal in the first quarter of 2007.

RusAl will control a 66% stake in the new company, while Sual will hold 22% and Glencore 12%.

RusAl provides primary aluminum and value-added cast house products to customers in 50 countries. Headquartered in Moscow, with operations in 9 regions of Russia and 13 countries globally, RusAl now accounts for 75% of aluminum production in Russia and 10% of the global total.

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