REFILE-Russia's VTB keen to sell Metalloinvest stake
(Fixes spelling of company name in para 4)
MOSCOW, July 18 (Reuters) - Russia's second-largest lender VTB is negotiating to sell its 20 percent stake in iron ore miner Metalloinvest to the company, an executive at the bank said on Wednesday.
VTB bought its stake in Metalloinvest, controlled by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, in December for a price of between $2 billion and $3 billion from minority shareholder Vasily Anisimov, a source said at the time.
The bank said then that the purchase was in line with its private equity investment strategy and that it was optimistic about Metalloinvest's global iron ore prospects.
VTB has said it would eventually sell the stake to a strategic investor or place it in the market as a part of Metalloinvest's p l anned initial public offering.
"We are negotiating with each other and see a successful completion in the coming months," VTB first deputy chairman Yuri Soloviev told journalists.
Metalloinvest planned to go public in 2008 but cancelled the move due to the global financial crisis. The company said in 2011 that it could list up to 20 percent of its shares in London but has since said that a share sale is no longer imminent. (Reporting By Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Megan Davies; Editing by Erica Billingham)
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