Two billionaires named as bidders for Polyus stake

MOSCOW Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:20am GMT

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MOSCOW Jan 29 (Reuters) - Two billionaires have been named as the possible buyers of Mikhail Prokhorov's 38 percent stake in Russia's largest gold miner, Polyus Gold, in a deal now facing scrutiny by the U.K. Takeover Panel.

The Vedomosti financial daily reported on Tuesday that the buyers of the stake, now worth $4 billion, were Zelimkhan Mutsoyev, a lawmaker worth an estimated $1.5 billion whose family controls the Regions Group of shopping centres.

The other was named as Gavriil Yushvayev, a former co-owner of juice and dairy firm Wimm-Bill-Dann, now part of PepsiCo . Yushvayev's net worth has been put at $1.2 billion by Forbes magazine.

No comment was immediately available from Prokhorov's holding company, Onexim, but sources familiar with deal talks have told Reuters that two Russian prospective buyers had agreed purchase terms for the stake last month.