* Analyst estimates deal price at $2.1 bln
* Samruk-Kazyna has stakes in London-listed Kazakhmys, ENRC
By Raushan Nurshayeva and Mariya Gordeyeva
ASTANA/ALMATY, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, has acquired a 29 percent stake in Glencore-controlled zinc producer Kazzinc, adding to its extensive holdings in the country’s mining sector.
“The Kazzinc deal is closed, and today we own 29 percent in this enterprise,” Kuandyk Bishimbayev, deputy head of the fund, told reporters. “These were borrowed funds,” he added without disclosing the price of the stake or giving further details.
Kazakhstan’s largest holding company adds the zinc miner to its stakes worth over $80 billion in domestic companies including miners, airlines, railways and banks. Its deal is likely to prevent Glencore from achieving its goal for ownership of Kazzinc.
Glencore, which owns 69.61 percent, had earlier said it intended to boost its stake to 93 percent for a total of $3.2 billion, including $2.2 billion in cash and $1 billion in equity.
Glencore declined to comment.
Bishimbayev said the fund bought the shares from Verny Capital, in which billionaire Bolat Utemuratov, unofficially nicknamed “a grey cardinal” for his connections with Kazakhstan’s political and business elite, is a large stakeholder.
Kazakh investment bank Halyk Finance, which closely monitors Glencore and Kazzinc, said that based on the price Glencore paid in October for 18.91 percent of Kazzinc, Samruk-Kazyna would have paid about $2.1 billion.
“This investment is in essence a strategic one, and a smaller stake would be simply of no interest to the government,” Halyk Finance analyst Mariam Zhumadil said in an interview.
“Yes, this stake is not a controlling one - just (like) the government’s participation in Kazakhmys and ENRC ,” she said in a reference to the Central Asian nation’s London-listed miners, which are the largest Kazakh producers of copper, zinc and alumina.
Last year Kazzinc boosted zinc output by 0.2 percent to 301,237 tonnes.