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26. February 2007

Gilbertson May Not Chair

New Russian Aluminum Company

Brian Gilbertson, former chief executive of BHP Billiton Ltd., said he may not chair Russia's United Company Rusal, set to become the world's largest aluminum company, should its initial share sale be delayed.

``The key decision to that is what the timing might be on the IPO for the group and whether that will fit within my time- scale,'' Gilbertson said today on conference call in Perth, Australia. ``If the IPO is extended, then somebody else should do it. If it was sooner, I would be happy to do it.''

United Company Rusal is being formed by OAO Russian Aluminum's acquisition of OAO Sual Group and the alumina assets of Swiss trader Glencore International AG. Gilbertson was named as chairman last year.

Russian regulatory approval was granted for the acquisition this month, and the new company will account for 12.5 percent of global aluminum production. Viktor Vekselberg, Sual's owner, said in November that United Company Rusal will hold an initial public offering of shares by April next year.

The new company will be 66 percent owned by Rusal, 22 percent by Sual and 12 percent by Glencore. It will be controlled by Oleg Deripaska, Rusal's majority owner.

Gilbertson is in Australia announcing a A$625 million ($493 million) bid to buy Australia Consolidated Minerals Ltd. through Pallinghurst Resources Fund LP, which he chairs, and AMCI.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tan Hwee Ann in Melbourne at hatan(at)bloomberg.net

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