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Russian tycoon buys stake in Australia's Medusa Mining

Gallagher Holdings Ltd., an investment company owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has bought a 12.32% stake in Medusa Mining Ltd., an Australian gold producing company, for $16.9 million. 

The Russian tycoon's investment vehicle holds strategic investments worldwide, and a large stake in Australia's Mount Gibson Iron Limited. Medusa said in a news release that in addition to the newly-acquired shares, “7,000,000 unlisted options exercisable by 1 February 2009 at a price of A$1.60 [$1.35] will also be issued to Gallagher subject to shareholder approval at a meeting in August 2007.” Medusa said the funds raised will be used for repaying deferred vendor debt of A$5 million ($4.2 million) and funding a future porphyry copper drilling program, among other things.

Alisher Usmanov is also the main shareholder in the unlisted Metalloinvest Group, Russia's leading iron ore producer, with 39% of total concentrate, pellet and hot briquette production. The group owns the country's fifth largest steelmaking plant. (rian.ru)