May 14, 2009 / 10:02 AM / 10 years ago

INTERVIEW-RUSAL eyes 7-8 year foreign debt extension

MOSCOW, May 14 (Reuters) - Aluminium giant UC RUSAL expects to secure an extra seven to eight years to repay its $7.3 billion debt to international banks and will not surrender a stake in the company as payment, a senior company director said. UC RUSAL, controlled by indebted billionaire Oleg Deripaska, also hopes this month to reach agreement with Russian state bank VEB on extending repayment of the $4.5 billion loan on which its stake in nickel miner Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) depends. In an interview with Reuters, UC RUSAL Director for Capital Markets Oleg Mukhamedshin said the company’s more than 70 international creditors were poised to agree to a grace period during which UC RUSAL would be exempt from repayments.

“We are negotiating the final conditions, but it is already clear that the credits will be extended by seven to eight years, with a certain grace period,” Mukhamedshin said.

“The length of the grace period is being negotiated. It is expected to be at least two years,” he said.

“We believe Russian banks will also support the global conditions of the restructuring. There may be slight differences in the details, which are also being discussed.”

(Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys, editing by Robin Paxton)

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