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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Sees Support for LionOre

Norilsk Nickel said Thursday that investors with at least two-thirds of shares of Canada's LionOre would support its $6.4 billion takeover offer.

"We have a large degree of certainty that we'll collect at least 66.7 percent of shares in LionOre,'' Norilsk CEO Denis Morozov told reporters after his company's annual general meeting. "That will complete the transaction."

Norilsk's offer of 27.50 Canadian dollars per share for all of the stock was to close at 8 p.m. Toronto time Thursday. The offer can be completed with two-thirds of the stock.

Morozov declined to say how many shareholders have tendered their shares.

Acquiring LionOre will give Norilsk access to nickel mines in South Africa and Botswana and complement the Australian operations it acquired in March through a takeover of Cleveland-based OM Group's nickel unit. Norilsk has won support from relevant antitrust authorities and Toronto-based LionOre's board for its offer, which trumped a rival bid from Xstrata.

The miner will look to "cement" its position in southern Africa and Australia through joint projects, ventures and other transactions with "local players," Morozov said.