Russia to create world's largest aluminium producer

Russian regulators gave final approval to a three-way merger that would create the world's biggest aluminum producer, the companies involved in the deal said Wednesday.

At the start of the month EU regulators also cleared the deal, which will see Russia's biggest aluminum producer, JSC Rusal, absorb rival Sual and the aluminum assets of Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service agreed to the merger in principle in January, and analysts had predicted that the Russian approval would be a formality.

"Today's announcement ... is of great significance, supporting the creation of Russia's first transnational corporation and the new leader of the global aluminum industry," Rusal CEO Alexander Bulygin said in a statement released jointly with the other two companies. "We are now ready to round off the merger and plan to close the deal in the near future."

The company had said earlier that it expected the deal to close in April. Approval for the tie-up had also been granted by the anti-monopoly authorities of Ukraine, Montenegro and Turkey, the statement said. Bulgarian regulators must still give their approval for the merger, the AP reports.

The European Commission had said the deal would not significantly impede competition in Europe because the new company would continue to face "effective" rivalry.

The new company will be the world's largest aluminum producer - with nearly 4 million tons of aluminum per year, or about 12 percent of global output - surpassing current industry leader, U.S.-based Alcoa Inc.

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