MOSCOW, Feb 16, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of 17.02% in United Co. Rusal (0486.HK), said Wednesday the company should accept the latest $12.8 billion partial buyout offer from mining giant OAO Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.RS), which represents what he called "a fair price."
Arctic metals giant Norilsk on Feb. 11 sweetened its offer to buy most of the shares held by aluminum company Rusal, in a bid to resolve a long-running battle for control of the company.
Norilsk said it would pay Rusal $12.8 billion for a 20% stake in Norilsk, leaving Rusal with 5% of the world's largest nickel producer.
The battle for control of Norilsk has lasted for two years between Oleg Deripaska, Rusal's chief executive and main shareholder, and Vladimir Potanin, a billionaire with a stake of just under 30% in the nickel producer.
Prokhorov, who sold his 25% stake in Norilsk to Rusal in 2008 for cash and shares, said in an emailed statement: "The situation has reached an impasse, and one side has to decide to leave [Norilsk]."
"I think the offer with a 20% premium to the current market price of Norilsk is a fair price for the stake," he said.
Prokhorov is the No. 2 shareholder in Rusal after Deripaska.