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Polyus Gold Stake Buyers Said to Be Yushvayev, Mutsoyev

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Gavriil Yushvayev, a former owner of Russia’s Wimm-Bill-Dann, and OAO Uralkali investor Zelimkhan Mutsoyev agreed to buy Mikhail Prokhorov’s stake in Polyus Gold International Ltd., two people with knowledge of the plan said.

Billionaire Prokhorov’s 37.8 percent holding will be split about equally between the two buyers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The stake had a value of about $4 billion based on today’s share price.

Prokhorov’s Onexim Holdings Ltd. agreed to sell his shares in Polyus as he diversifies away from commodities, three people familiar with the plan said last week. Onexim and the investors, selected by billionaire Suleiman Kerimov’s Nafta Moskva, sought approval from the U.K. Takeover Panel for the deal, the people said. Nafta Moskva owns a 40.2 percent stake.

The press services of Onexim and Nafta Moskva declined to comment.

Prokhorov, the 66th richest individual on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with $14 billion, is selling industrial assets and keeping financial ventures. Onexim gained control of Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank, from founder and shareholder Stephen Jennings in November.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised on the sale of Prokhorov’s Polyus stake; VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, will help fund the deal and the Takeover Panel may decide this month, the people said last week.

Merger Plan

Onexim was considering an international merger before Prokhorov decided to sell his stake. On Sept. 12, his company said it was in early talks with two potential buyers for holdings of less than 20 percent each in the producer.

Nafta Moskva said at the time it was in talks on providing financial or other support to one of the potential purchasers. In 2010, Kerimov and his partners gained control of Uralkali, splitting a 53.2 percent stake among themselves and avoiding a mandatory offer to minorities.

Kerimov paid $1.3 billion for 37 percent of Polyus in 2009 from billionaire Vladimir Potanin, the Vedomosti newspaper said at the time.

Yushvayev sold his stake in juice and dairy producer Wimm-Bill-Dann to PepsiCo Inc. in 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuliya Fedorinova in Moscow at yfedorinova@bloomberg.net

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

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