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Crispian Investments eyes larger stake in Norilsk Nickel

Russianbase metals giant PJSC MMC NorilskNickel will consider a proposal to sell off a 0.79% packet of its ownshares to Cyprus-based Crispian Investments Ltd., a company controlled by businessmagnate Roman Abramovich and EvrazPlc co-founders Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov, Norilsk confirmedin an April 12 statement.

Accordingto the Russian miner, Crispian, which already controls 5.5% of Norilsk's shares,approached the board with the proposal to buy 1,250,075 treasury shares for US$158million, or US$12.63 per ADR.

Norilskacquired the shares under a buyback program completed in 2015.

One ofthe world's top miners of platinum, palladium and nickel, Norilsk has struggledover the past year, as the nickel price crashed to its lowest level since 2003.Nickel sales accounted for about 38% of the total in 2015.

As aresult, Norilsk proposedditching its present dividend policy in favor of a market-linked alternative. Underthe proposed policy, shareholders would be paid bigger dividends at times of highercommodities prices, but lower dividends during times of weak prices.

The companylast year unveiled plansto save cash by cutting back on investments and postponing others.