Prokhorov wants to combine its Jersey based unit KazakhGold Group next year before its listing in London. Following which he plans to “make a merger with one of the leading gold companies in the world”, he said, but declined to name potential targets.
Russian gold producers are trying to expand their global operations after prices of the yellow metal soared by 30 percent this year. Polymetal, a Russian gold and silver miner is planning shift base to Jersey in order to tap a larger investor base while Severstal’s Nord Gold unit is planning to launch its IPO in London.
Polymetal’s shares jumped by 20 percent in intraday trading at the news of the proposed merger, but closed at a modest gain of 6%.
“Prokhorov’s announcement has spurred investor interest in Polymetal”, said Luis Saenz, a director of Otkritie Financial Corp. at London, over the phone.
Prokhorov expects the market capitalization to rise by 20 percent after London debut. “We’ll need to be in the world’s Top 3” after the merger, he said.
Prokhorov, along with fellow billionaire Suleiman Kerimov controls Polyus. However, after the listing, their stake will reduce to a minority.
Polyus spent nearly a decade acquiring mines across the world to become the fifth largest gold producer. After the London listing, the company will be able to merge with any of its global competitors.
Chief Executive Yevgeny Ivanov said in February this year that Polyus contemplated a merger with Canada’s Kinross Gold years ago. Norilsk Nickel had a 20 percent stake in Polyus previously and in 2004 Polyus was negotiating a merger with South Africa’s Gold Fields. The deal was cancelled and Norilsk sold its stake two years later to exit the business.
Forbes magazine has rated Prokhorov as Russia’s second richest man with an estimated net-worth of $13.4 billion.