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UPDATE 2-KAZ bosses sign 3 bln pound deal to take miner private again

* Shares hit highest in year and a half

* Industry faces virus disruptions (Adds background, updates share move)

Oct 28 (Reuters) - A consortium of KAZ Minerals Chairman Oleg Novachuk and Kazakh billionaire Vladimir Kim will buy the London-listed miner in a 3 billion pound ($3.9 billion) deal with the intention of taking it private again, KAZ said on Wednesday.

Nova Resources, a company owned by a consortium of Novachuk and KAZ director Kim, will pay 640 pence per KAZ share. Shares scaled their highest in one and a half years on the bid and were up 10% at 625 pence by 0833 GMT.

With production of 311.4 kilo tonnes (kt), KAZ contributed nearly 42% of Kazakhstan’s total metal output of 700kt in 2019, data from research firm Statista showed.

KAZ operates the Bozshakol and Aktogay open pit copper mines in Pavlodar and the East Region of Kazakhstan, three underground mines in the East Region and the Bozymchak copper-gold mine in Kyrgyzstan.

But like miners across the globe, KAZ has cut its 2020 capital spending plan and warned of production delays as it dealt with disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

“Our risk appetite may be misaligned with the preference of many investors in the mining sector,” Novachuk said, while proposing a higher risk, capital intensive strategy.

Novachuk added that KAZ’s long-term interests would be best served as a private company partly due to the current market uncertainty.

He and Kim, who currently have about a 40% holding in KAZ between them, in 2004 bought back most of the company - which was then called Kazakhmys - from Samsung and other shareholders through a management buyout along with Y.K. Cha.

They spearheaded the company’s debut on the London Stock Exchange a year later.

KAZ, which got its current name following a restructuring in 2014, has a history dating back to 1930s and was privatised after the independence of Kazakhstan in 1991.

KAZ shares, which skyrocketed by 240% to 1,966 pence within three years of listing, currently trade at about the same price as their first trading day 15 years ago.

$1 = 0.7673 pounds Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Aditya Soni and Jason Neely

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