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16

Norilsk Will Help Harmony: Swanepoel

Harmony's CEO Bernard Swanepoel said that Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel is likely to support

Harmony's CEO Bernard Swanepoel said that Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel is likely to support his company in $.4.8 billion hostile bid for Gold Fields.

Many analysts have written off the possibility that Norilsk, Gold Fields largest shareholder, would extend a May 20 expiry of a deal to tender its Gold Fields stake to Harmony.

However, Swanepoel told Reuters the situation was more complex than many have realized, since Norilsk could have many reasons to keep Harmony's bid alive.

This included keeping in play the rivalry between Harmony and Gold Fields, which Swanepoel says has boosted Gold Fields shares.

"Norilsk is in a good position. They know what Harmony's alternative is and they are awaiting Gold Fields alternative. If Gold Fields doesn't come up with an alternative, then you could argue that Norilsk has a real interest in extending the irrevocable."