Glencore International AG, the largest trader of industrial metals, offered to buy an 8 percent stake in OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel before it was sold to rival Trafigura Beheer BV, according to billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
Deripaska, battling for control of the world’s biggest nickel company, declined to elaborate on the comments today in Moscow. Norilsk said Dec. 20 it would sell shares held by units to Trafigura, the second-largest trader of non-ferrous metals.
Marc Ocskay, a Glencore spokesman in Baar, Switzerland, declined to comment. The trader owns about 9 percent of United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, founded and led by Deripaska, and handled 31 percent of Rusal’s sales, according to the Russian metal company’s annual report.
A Trafigura official who declined to be identified wasn’t immediately able to comment when contacted in Amsterdam.
Norilsk said in August it declined an offer from Glencore to take over the mining company’s nickel sales.
Deripaska has been locked in a dispute with fellow Norilsk shareholder Vladimir Potanin since 2008, and rebuffed two offers for him to sell out of the nickel company since October. Norilsk today offered to buy back shares above the market price after failing in its latest bid to take back Rusal’s 25 percent stake.