MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator said Tuesday that it had approved a plan of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group to buy a 21.75 percent stake of major potash fertilizer company Uralkali.
The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said the decision to sanction the deal was made on Monday. The regulator warned, however, that an investigation would be conducted if officials find that the deal had been started before the approval, the Prime news agency reported.
Prokhorov’s Onexim Group announced the acquisition of the 21.75 percent stake in Uralkali from fellow billionaire Suleiman Kerimov back in December. A source familiar with the deal told Prime that companies close to Prokhorov bought an additional 5.34 percent of the potash giant.
The purchase price was not disclosed, but the source previously told Prime that the shares would be valued at about 200 rubles ($6) apiece.
The purchase has defused tensions between Russia and Belarus following a dispute last summer between Uralkali and its Belarusian partner Belaruskali that began after Uralkali left a price-setting cartel that controlled some 40 percent of the world’s potash production.