Polymetal Weighs Restructuring to Spin off Russian Businesses, Shares Rise — Update

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By Joe Hope

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Polymetal International PLC shares rose Tuesday after it said it was mulling several options to increase shareholder value, following media reports that it was preparing to sell off its Russian businesses.

Shares in London at 0848 GMT were up 84.0 pence, or 35% at 327.0 pence.

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The Russian mining company said the options include potentially changing its asset-holding structure to ensure distinct ownership in the various countries it operates in. On Monday, the Financial Times reported that Polymetal was considering spinning off its Russian business from the rest of the company to insulate its international business, including mines in Kazakhstan, from the effects of Western sanctions, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Both its Russian and Kazakh mines would have their own listing, and investors would have an option to retain holdings in both companies or sell their new stake in the Russian assets, the FT reported.

The Russian mining company said early-stage liberations are underway and there can be no certainty as to the outcome.

Polymetal hasn’t been targeted by sanctions, though it has been facing an exodus of shareholders. The flight has sent its London-listed shares down 74% in 2022 to date.

The company said on March 9 that its Russian and Kazakhstan businesses were continuing without disruption and it still expects to pay a final dividend, despite sanctions imposed on Russia and certain Russian businesses after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company also noted that it doesn’t consider itself an entity owned or acting on behalf of a person connected with Russia, in relation to further European Union sanction amendments that came into force on March 1. Its share free-float stood at 75.2% at the time, with its largest shareholders being Cyprus-based ICT Holding Ltd. and US investment manager BlackRock Inc.

Write to Joe Hoppe at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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