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    Uralkali contests court suspension of merger with Silvinit

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    Russian potash producer Uralkali has appealed a court injunction halting its $24 billion merger with Silvinit in the Perm Region Arbitration Court, Uralkali said in a statement late on Wednesday.

    Russian potash producer Uralkali has appealed a court injunction halting its $24 billion merger with Silvinit in the Perm Region Arbitration Court, Uralkali said in a statement late on Wednesday.

    In February, the court suspended a merger that would have created the world's second largest potash maker, following a suit from rival fertilizer miner Akron (which owns 8% of Silvinit's voting shares) and three other minority shareholders.

    "Measures taken by the court infringe the shareholder interests of both companies, since an overwhelming majority of shareholders (98.9% of Uralkali shareholders and 90.9% of Silvinit shareholders) voted for a merger of the firms at an extraordinary meeting on February 4, 2011," Uralkali said.

    Uralkali claimed the merger had been approved by international independent consultant ISS Proxy Advisory Services, which confirmed the deal was advantageous for all shareholders.

    Last week, Uralkali bought 19.99% of Silvinit for $1.4 billion as part of the first stage of the merger.

    Under the second stage, it planned to issue shares to swap for Silvinit's ordinary and preferred stock. Silvinit's shareholders were to get 133.4 Uralkali ordinary shares per Silvinit ordinary share and 51.8 Uralkali ordinary shares per Silvinit preferred share.

    MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)

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