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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RusAl Sounding Out Banks for $9Bln IPO

United Company RusAl, the world's top aluminum producer, is sounding out banks about a possible flotation that could raise as much as $9 billion, people familiar with the situation said Thursday.

If the deal proceeds as expected later this year, it would be the largest 2007 IPO globally with a London listing that would surpass that of VTB Bank, which raised $8 billion in May.

RusAl produces about 12.5 percent of the world's aluminum and 16 percent of intermediate product alumina. It produces 3.9 million tons of aluminum and 10.6 million tons of alumina per year.

It has pre-listed JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank as global coordinators, said the sources, who requested anonymity because of the confidential nature of the talks.

Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and UBS also have been short-listed as joint bookrunners for the offering, the sources said.

RusAl and the banks declined to comment. RusAl said in May that it planned an IPO within three years.

Investor appetite for the metals sector has surged in recent years because of the growing demand for aluminum and steel in emerging markets.

RusAl's smaller, Zurich-based rival, Vimetco, which holds Bucharest Stock Exchange-listed aluminum smelter Alro Slatina and Alum, as well as China's Henan Yulian Energy Group, also plans a London listing this month.

United Company RusAl was formed in March through a merger of the world's third-biggest producer, Russian Aluminum, with smaller rival SUAL and the alumina assets of Switzerland's Glencore International.

In its first investor presentation in London on June 29, RusAl revealed that it had net debt of $7.5 billion as of June 1, Interfax reported.

RusAl last month mandated ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Calyon, Citi and Natixis to arrange a $2 billion, seven-year syndicated pre-export finance facility to refinance some bridge facilities.

RusAl co-owner Viktor Vekselberg has said the firm may reach a decision on a floatation as early as August.