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Siberian Agrarian Discusses Merger for Agricultural Holding

Siberian Agrarian Holding Group is in merger talks to form one of Russia’s largest agricultural holdings, said Pavel Skurikhin, the company’s chairman.

Siberian Agrarian is holding negotiations with a Russian and a Mid-Eastern company, Skurikhin said in Moscow today, adding the talks may be completed next year.

The Novosibirsk, Siberia-based company is interested in enhancing bread baking, entering the meat segment and increasing its scale to reduce costs after the merger, Skurikhin said.

Siberian Agrarian is ready to sell 30 percent to 35 percent of its land to reduce debt leverage, he said. The company operates about 400,000 hectares (988,400 acres), of which it owns 250,000 hectares, he said.

Skurikhin didn’t provide the company’s operating results and this year’s harvest size because of the talks with potential partners. He said the company’s crop is larger than in last year. In 2010, the company harvested about 200,000 metric tons of grain, or 60 percent less than planned as Russia suffered its worst drought in at least 50 years.

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