Kerimov Builds ENRC Stake as Founding Shareholders Mull Bid

Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, is building a stake in Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., which faces a possible bid by its three founding shareholders and the Kazakh government.

Kerimov raised his stake in ENRC to 3.05 percent after acquiring 935,043 shares at 260.43 pence, he said in a filing today. He holds 39.3 million shares, he said.

ENRC’s founding shareholders Alexander Machkevitch, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov together with the Kazakh government are considering making an offer for the company, Machkevitch said on April 19. The group owns 54 percent of the company, Machkevitch said in a separate filing today.

ENRC’s assets include iron ore, ferroalloy and power production operations in Kazakhstan, copper and cobalt businesses in Africa and a Brazilian iron ore project. The stock had dropped 60 percent in a year before Machkevitch announced the possible bid plans.

ENRC shares gained 12 percent to 292.70 pence at the close in London, valuing the company at 3.77 billion pounds ($5.86 billion.) Kazakhmys Plc, Kazakhstan’s biggest copper producer, owns about 26 percent of ENRC. Kazakhmys shares also rose 12 percent to 372.50 pence.

Kerimov, whose biggest assets include stakes in Polyus Gold International Ltd. and OAO Uralkali, will put profits from his fortune into a charitable foundation, his aide Alexey Krasovskiy said on April 30. Kerimov transfered all his assets to trusts and quit management as is required by Russian law when he became a senator in the Federation Council in 2007, Krasovskiy said.

Kerimov, 47, is ranked Russia’s 20th-richest person by Forbes with a $7.1 billion fortune.