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Billionaire Prokhorov Denies Bid for Miner Supatcha

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Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov
Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr./Bloomberg

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Mikhail Prokhorov, the second-richest Russian, denied any association with Supatcha Resources Inc. and an unsolicited bid for the Denver-based gold explorer.

“Mikhail Prokhorov categorically denies any involvement with Supatcha,” Onexim Group, a Moscow-based holding company owned by Prokhorov, said today in an e-mailed statement. Igor Petrov, an Onexim spokesman, confirmed the release. A Dec. 10 statement from Supatcha citing Prokhorov’s participation in the takeover bid is “completely false,” Onexim said.

Supatcha fell 8.3 cents, or 44 percent, to 10.4 cents as of 3:59 p.m. in over-the-counter trading in New York, valuing the company at $6.34 million.

Supatcha explores for gold deposits in Ukraine, according to its website. The shares jumped 77 percent on Dec. 10 after Supatcha reported a $1.75-a-share bid from OXM Group, a company it said is controlled by Prokhorov. Supatcha yesterday said it got a second unsolicited bid, this time for $2.50 a share, from a Moscow-based company called JSC Rustamov Group. The stock slumped 73 percent yesterday.

Calls to Supatcha’s office in Denver weren’t answered. A woman identifying herself as Lisa, who answered a call to the investor-relations phone number listed on Supatcha’s website, declined to comment, give her full name or identity her employer.

A call to the Thunder Bay, Ontario, telephone number listed by Supatcha on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website was answered by a woman who said the number was for a company called Auto-One Car Care and Service Centre. The woman declined to give her name.

‘In the Dark’

Supatcha last month hired The Wall St Bulls Consultant Group to raise investor awareness, said Brett Smith, a senior partner at the Naples, Florida-incorporated investor-relations services provider.

“Since then it just has been quiet on the other end,” Smith said in a telephone interview. He said he has communicated with Supatcha executives only by e-mail.

“We are also in the dark about this company,” he said.

Supatcha paid Wall St Bulls with 4 million shares of the company that cannot be sold until after May 19, Smith said.

“We did the work for the company,” he said. “We were taken for a ride.”

Forbes magazine this year ranked Prokhorov, 45, as Russia’s second-richest man, with a $13.4 billion fortune. He is chief executive officer of Russian gold producer OAO Polyus Gold and owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team. Russia’s richest man is OAO Novolipetsk Steel owner Vladimir Lisin, according to Forbes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.

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