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Norilsk Nickel, Rusal Deny Merger Rumours

The Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin are not negotiating a merger between Rusal and Norilsk Nickel

Rusal and Norilsk Nickel are not negotiating a merger, Rusal said in a statement, refuting earlier press reports.

The aluminium producer Rusal, controlled by Russian billonaire Oleg Deripaska, 'considers its acquisition of 25 percent plus two shares (of Norilsk Nickel) as a strategic investment, and intends to use all legal means to protect its interests as shareholder'.

Vladimir Potanin is president of the holding company Interros, which holds a 30 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel.

Rusal and Interros have been in dispute over the control of Norilsk Nickel since spring 2008. Both companies have indicated they wish to turn it into a metal giant on a global scale by merging it with one or more other companies.