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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vallourec Rises After Talk of Bid

Shares in French steel-tube producer Vallourec rose sharply after a report that Alisher Usmanov's Metalloinvest had agreed to buy French investor Vincent Bollor?'s 3.97 percent stake in the firm.

But Usmanov's and Bollor?'s firms both denied the report Monday.

"We absolutely deny these rumors," Metalloinvest spokeswoman Yelena Senik said.

Shares in Paris-based Vallourec rose as high as 6.3 percent on Monday to 206 euros ($303) following a report in The Sunday Times of London that Usmanov had agreed to buy Bollor?'s stake for 570 million euros and was preparing to launch a full takeover bid for the firm.

Investment bank BNP Paribas was mandated by Metalloinvest to advise on a takeover bid, the paper said, without citing any sources. It added that Gazprom, which has close ties to Usmanov, might support the bid financially.

Groupe Bollor?, the holding company for Bollor?, denied the reports.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov denied that the gas giant was involved in the purported deal.

Bollor? is the largest single shareholder in Vallourec. He recently increased his voting rights to 6.51 percent, while retaining his capital stake at just below 4 percent.

Under French law, any investor with more than 5 percent voting rights is obliged to inform the market within five working days, said Stephane Soussan, an analyst at BNP Paribas.