Onexim Group is a Russian privately-funded venture by billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, set up to invest in nano-technology, “high technology” projects, and non-ferrous and precious metals mining.
Prokhorov was former chairman of Norilsk Nickel (see Metalloinvest), and is chairman of the country’s largest gold producer, Polyus Gold, which he controls along with comrade oligarch, Suleiman Kerimov . In mid-2009 they announced their intention to make a deposit at Natalk, Russia, into the third biggest gold producer by 2013 [MJ 12 August 2009].
In July 2011, Onexim sold its Kolmar coal fields, in the Sakha Republic, to investor Anatoly Mitroshin [MJ 8 July 2011]. Shortly afterwards, Polyus announced its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange, and move its domicile to the UK tax haven of Jersey.
In the meantime, Prokhorov fell out with Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin - who, as head of Russia's foreign-investment committee - delayed the plan [MJ 2 December 2011].
In March 2012,Polyus Gold dropped its plan to move to a listing on the London Stock Exchange, having withdrawn its request for government permission to relocate.
Prokhorov was placed third in the March 4 2912 presidential election, with around 8% of the vote and meanwhile has announced he intends to launch a liberal political party.
Some analysts and bankers then speculated that Polyus might seek a deal with another Russian miner, top silver producer Polymetal [Reuters 20 March 2012].
However, in May 2012, Polyus announced that it intended to sell 7.5% of its treasury shares, in order to raise around US636 million and then apply for a premium listing on the LSE.
The company would sell these shares through its subsidiary, Jennington International Inc (see Gold Lion Holdings). Chengdong Investment Corp, a subsidiary of China's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Group, would buy 5% of Polyus' available stock. And a further 2.5% of Polyus stock and global depository receipts would be purchased by Russia's VTB Bank [MJ 4 May 2012].