July 31, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 11 days ago

Abramovich sells 40% in Highland Gold to Russian businessman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian businessman Roman Abramovich and his partners are selling a 40.06% stake in Russian mid-sized gold producer Highland Gold (HGM.L) to a Russian businessman, who will make a cash offer to remaining shareholders, they said on Friday.

Abramovich, Chelsea soccer club owner, is selling Highland Gold, in which he was a shareholder for many years, at a time when gold price XAU= is close its record high as the COVID-19 pandemic drives investors towards the metal as a safe haven.

Fortiana Holdings Limited, a Cyprus-registered company of Vladislav Sviblov with interests in zinc and gold projects in Siberia, agreed to buy 145,759,871 shares in Highland Gold from Abramovich and his partners at 3.00 pounds ($3.94) per share.

Highland Gold is one of the top 10 gold producers in Russia with several mines in Russia’s Far East. The offer will value the entire company at $1.4 billion, with a 4% premium to the market close on Thursday.

“This is a strategic investment for us, in line with our aim to build a broader asset portfolio in the natural resources sector in Russia,” Sviblov said in the statement.

The price of the offer to remaining shareholders is expected to be not less than in this deal. The offer is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Edmund Blair

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