HONG KONG/MOSCOW – Fosun International Ltd, is in exclusive talks to buy a large minority stake in Russia’s biggest gold miner Polyus, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, in what would be the Chinese group’s maiden Russian deal.
Fosun, an aggressive buyer known internationally for its purchase of French resort operator Club Med, is keen to invest in Russia and other emerging markets such as India, as it moves away from Europe and developed markets. Reuters reported in August that Fosun is also in talks to buy a minority stake in Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital..
Fosun’s interest in Polyus comes as other Chinese companies have also been targeting gold mine acquisitions to meet domestic demand amid a recovery in prices. State-controlled Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd and state-backed Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd held separate talks with Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp to buy a 50 percent stake in an Argentinian gold mine, Reuters reported last month.
China, the world’s top consumer, producer and importer of gold, has ambitions to be a global price setter. The talks between Fosun and Polyus have been underway for a couple of weeks, said the sources, who declined to be named as the talks are confidential.
The two companies are still negotiating the final terms, including the size of the stake, and any deal value could be subject to last minute changes, one of the people said. Fosun is conducting due diligence on Polyus but no deal is imminent, the person added.
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