The chairman of the Board of Directors of Metalloinvest, one of Russia's largest metals producers, Farkhad Moshiri, has acquired control over 5% of the company, Kommersant business daily said on Monday.
In 2008, Moshiri acquired 10% of Cyprus' Gallagher Holdings owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, a core shareholder of Metalloinvest with a 50% stake, the paper said.
A source close to Metalloinvest's shareholders told the newspaper that Moshiri became one of the beneficiaries of the company, adding that Moshiri had bought 10% of Gallagher as part of a stock option plan, but did not give any details.
Usmanov's stake in Metalloinvest fell to 45 percent from 50 percent after the deal, the paper said.
Moshiri, a long-standing business partner of Usmanov, and his representative were unavailable for comment, while representatives of Usmanov and Metalloinvest declined to give any information.
Uralsib analyst Dmitry Smolin told the newspaper that Moshiri had probably bought the stake in Gallagher for a symbolic price as he was unlikely to possess such a sum as a hired manager. In 2008, Metalloinvest was valued at $25-30 billion and therefore, the 5% stake was worth $1.25-1.5 billion (now worth $0.75-1 billion).
Gallagher could be divided between its owners in the future to spin off non-core assets, or this could be a sign that the company was actively preparing for an initial public offering, Portfolio manager of Russia's Third Rome asset management group Alexei Debelov told Kommersant.
MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti)