LONDON, may 14. /TASS/. Co-owner En+ group, the main shareholder of RUSAL, Oleg Deripaska, told the High court in London that the decision of Roman Abramovich to sell shares “Norilsk Nickel” was his surprise and caused confusion, as the market situation is favorable, the correspondent of TASS from the courtroom.
According to Deripaska, the first of Abramovich’s intention to sell the shares of “Norilsk Nickel” he learned from him at the meeting on January 28. “He [Abramovich] told us at the joint with Vladimir Potanin meeting that they [Crispian Investment] are going to go. Had no idea [until 28 January] that they want to sell. For me would be a clear motivation, if falling prices for products of “Norilsk Nickel”, or there was some other risks, but when the situation developed for the company is positive we expect prices to be much higher for me this decision (to sell shares “Norilsk Nickel” – approx. TASS) was quite unexpected,” said Deripaska.
Thus, according to the representative “Interros”, Potanin should be the testimony that at the meeting on 12 December 2017 Deripaska said that RUSAL will sell shares in Norilsk Nickel and offered Whiteleave Potanin to buy back shares Crispian because Abramovich decided to sell the package. “I don’t remember to say that Abramovich has decided to sell the shares”, – said Deripaska.
According to Deripaska, in the interests of “RUSAL” is the preservation of the existing shareholders ‘ agreement, as this is the only way in order to avoid changing the value of the package of RUSAL in “Norilsk Nickel”. “RUSAL” has never considered the end of the moratorium [on sale of shares of “Norilsk Nickel”] as some limit, after which can start changes [in equity]. We all knew that “Norilsk Nickel” if properly managed, can cost much more”, – said Deripaska.
Deripaska believes that the lack of balance in the share capital of Norilsk Nickel will result in termination of the partnership the two co-owners GMK – “RUSAL” and “Interros” Vladimir Potanin. “I think that this [imbalance joint ownership] will be a complete termination of a partnership – in spirit and in fact”, – said Deripaska. He noted that he and Potanin have differing views on the possible development of the situation around Norilsk Nickel.
The Claim “Rusala”
London’s high court began hearings on the merits of the claim “Rusala” to Crispian Investments (about 6%) Roman Abramovich to ban the sale of shares of “Norilsk Nickel” company Whiteleave, the structure of another major shareholder GMK “Interros” (32.9%) and Vladimir Potanin. Apart from Deripaska, the testimony in the case also gave the President of En+ group Maxim Sokov.
It is expected that its position in the trial will present and Potanin.
March 8 parties have reached agreement that Crispian will be able to sell 4% of shares, however, if at the next meeting of the court recognizes the transaction contrary to the shareholder agreement, the sale will be cancelled and the stock will be back Crispian.
By mid-March, Interros closed a deal to buy a 2.1% stake in Norilsk Nickel. RUSAL, in turn, has declared that will redeem outstanding about 2% only in the case of legality of the transaction. The meeting is expected to last four days.
An old argument
The conflict of “Interros” and “RUSAL” began in 2008, after the purchase of aluminum company of a share in “Norilsk Nickel”. RUSAL, in particular, expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the management of “Norilsk Nickel” and the size of dividends. In 2012, Potanin and Deripaska managed to sign a joint agreement for a period of five years, then the shareholders entered Abramovich, who acted as the main guarantor of compliance with the agreements. The truce lasted exactly five years, until the decision of Abramovich to sell his share in “Norilsk Nickel”.
The agreement also permits the mechanism of the so-called duel, if at the expiration of the agreement, Interros or RUSAL may want to buy the packages to each other. Under this scheme, one of the shareholders offers to the other to buy his share at a weighted average for six months price with a premium of 20% to the market. The second party may accept the offer to buy out the partner’s stake at the same price or a higher price for your package. In the latest version of the initiator of the duel must either buy bonds or sell their. Waiver of the rules leads to a penalty: violating the conditions will be obliged to sell the other side of 1,875% of the shares of Norilsk Nickel for $1.
RUSAL was ready to participate in the duel, however, the inclusion in the sanctions list of the U.S. Treasury have made it impossible. In April Potanin in an interview with the Financial Times declared that will not participate in a duel for “Norilsk Nickel”. The businessman gave an interview before the introduction of us sanctions against Deripaska and his assets on 6 April.