A $4bn deal that would see Russian billionaires Zemlin Mutsoyev and Gavrill Yushvayev take a 38pc in London listed gold miner Polyus Gold is to be investigated by the Takeover Panel.
The regulator is looking at whether the deal by the two investors to buy Mikhail Prokhorov’s stake in Polyus would create a concert party. If it is decided the two Russians are working in concert it would force the pair to make a mandatory offer for the company.
The Panel is also understood to be looking at the relationship between Mr Mutsoyev and Mr Yushvayev and the other major shareholder in Polyus, Suleiman Kerimov.
Reports on Tuesday suggested the deal to buy the 38pc stake was far from finalised. However, if it does go ahead the acquisition could see Polyus Gold merged with rival gold mining group Polymetal International (Other OTC: POYYF - news) .
Mr Kerimov is understood to be interested in creating what could be the largest gold mining company in the world. With the backing of Mr Mutsoyev and Mr Yushvayev, the plan has more credibility.
“I think Kerimov has in mind creating the largest gold company in the world ... like Uralkali is the largest fertilizer company,” Andrey Tretelnikov, an analyst at Rye, Man and Gor told Reuters.
Together the two companies, both London listed, would be worth close to $18bn (£11.4bn).
Mr Kerimov has recently raised $3bn through the sale of bonds in his potash group Uralkali. As well being a succesful businessman with assets in mining, property and oil, Mr Kerimov is a prominent in Russian politics both on the local and national scene.
In a trading update earlier this week Polyus reported a 12pc increase in gold production last year to what it said was a record 1.68m ounces.
Polyus Gold did not return calls for comment.