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Russia Tycoon Potanin Agrees to Nornickel-Rusal Merger Talks

  • Sanctions against Russia are weighing on both companies
  • Aluminum giant Rusal is Nornickel’s second-biggest investor
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Billionaire Vladimir Potanin, the biggest investor in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, said he’s ready to discuss merging the mining giant with United Co Rusal International PJSC as sanctions against Russia weigh on both companies.

Potanin has headed Nornickel since striking a 2012 shareholder accord with aluminum producer Rusal, the company’s second-largest investor. A merger would create a “national champion,” the tycoon said in an interview with Russia’s RBC TV channel on Tuesday. Rusal shares jumped 11% in Hong Kong.