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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aluminum Merger to Take Time

A proposed merger of RusAl and SUAL to create the world's largest aluminum producer will not be completed quickly, the country's anti-monopoly watchdog said Tuesday.

SUAL's main owner, Viktor Vekselberg, told President Vladimir Putin last week that an alliance with larger rival RusAl and Swiss trader Glencore was his company's preferred option.

"The process will not be a fast one," Igor Artemyev, head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, told reporters. "An application will be examined in accordance with the new law."

A new law on the protection of competition, which extends the watchdog's powers and sets tougher anti-monopoly regulation rules, becomes effective at the end of October.

Artemyev said the service had not received a request from RusAl or SUAL to approve the merger.

RusAl, SUAL and Glencore signed a memorandum in August to create a world leader worth $30 billion, sources close to the deal have said. They said RusAl would control 64.5 percent, SUAL 21.5 percent and Glencore 14 percent of the merged company.

Both SUAL and RusAl declined to comment.

SUAL this month said it was still considering options including an IPO.

There has been speculation that one reason for shareholder opposition was the desire of minority shareholders to proceed with an IPO of SUAL shares.

SUAL said it would decide within a month whether to merge with RusAl and Glencore.

On Monday, a source close to the deal said SUAL was seeking an option to sell its stake in a proposed merged company within a year.