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Phosagro May Issue Apatit Stock, Diluting Any Stakes Rivals Buy

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April 18 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Phosagro, billionaire Andrey Guriev’s fertilizer maker, will be able to issue new OAO Apatit stock to fund projects after Russia sells a stake in the unit, diluting shareholdings rivals may buy from the government.

Phosagro is interested in buying the shares, it said today by e-mail. That may put it in competition with UralChem and OAO Acron, which are considering bidding as Russia seeks to dispose of 20 percent of the phosphate unit as early as this year.

Phosagro and its affiliates control more than 75 percent of Apatit’s voting shares, according to the e-mail. New stock can be issued once Russia sells its holding “even if the stake will be acquired by parties other than Phosagro,” the company said.

Apatit, which runs Europe’s largest phosphate deposit in Murmansk region, has a market value of $1.7 billion, valuing the state’s shareholding at about $340 million. The government is yet to announce the terms of the proposed offer of the stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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