Uralkali suspends new share issue for merger with Silvinit

Major Russian potash producer Uralkali has suspended a share issue, intended to be swapped for Silvinit fertilizer firm’s ordinary and preferred stock, as part of the two companies’ $24 billion merger, Uralkali said in a statement on Friday.

Uralkali and Silvinit plan a merger to create the world’s second largest potash maker but a court suspended it earlier this year following a suit from rival fertilizer miner Akron, which owns 8% of Silvinit’s voting shares.

In the merger’s first stage, Uralkali acquired 20% of Silvinit for $1.4 billion and in the second stage, it planned to issue 1.2 billion shares worth 600 million rubles to swap them for Silvinit’s ordinary and preferred stock. Silvinit’s shareholders will get 133.4 Uralkali ordinary shares per each Silvinit’s ordinary share and 51.8 Uralkali’s ordinary shares per each Silvinit preferred share.

Uralkali has said that despite the court injunction it expected the second stage of the merger to be completed by the end of May 2011. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for April 12.

MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti)

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