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Titan to Enter Russian Tire Market

One of the world's largest tire manufacturers, Titan International may buy a stake in Voltair Prom, the Kordiant-owned plant in Volgograd, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

The factory, which produces tires for agricultural and industrial vehicles, is valued at 5.1 billion rubles ($160 million), Investcafe analyst Andrei Shenk said. However, Russia's entry into the WTO has led to increased competition, which could lead to a 15 to 20 percent price reduction.

One Equity Partners Fund, a JPMorgan affiliate, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, could co-invest with Titan, a source close to the negotiations said.

RDIF director Konstantin Ryzhkov said his organization knew a number of "first-class partners" with whom they could invest in the tire production market. RDIF invests in projects from $50 million to $500 million, but only if foreign partners are prepared to invest the same amount.

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