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Norilsk Nickel Dispute Over
December 6, 2012 20:05

Vladimir Potanin, Interros, and Oleg Deripaska, UC Rusal, have signed a peace deal to end their 4- year bitter dispute over the way Norilsk Nickel is run, where they both have a blocking stake.

Roman Abramovich has stepped in to help reconcile the two parties whose constant bickering tarred the corporate image and unnerved investors.

Abramovich's Millhouse Capital will buy 7,3% of treasury stock for $2 billion, and with the remaining 9.7 percent of the treasuries cancelled by the corporation, the Chelsea owner will become a third key shareholder.

The trio will then pool around 7.3 percent of shares to build a 22 percent stake that would be put to an escrow account run by Millhouse Capital on behalf of Abramovich as a guarantor of peace. He will also act as an arbiter in case of any disputes.

If any of the partners break the rules of the deal, the other two will get the right to buy a 7.5 percent stake with a 25 percent discount or face a penalty – 1.875 percent of shares sold for just one dollar.

The parties also agreed to impose a moratorium on the sale of most of the shares for the next five years.

Vladimir Potanin will replace Vladimir Strzhalkovsky as Norilsk Nickel's CEO, and the board of directors will be balanced out to include four members representing the interests of UC Rusal, four from Interros, two representatives of Millhouse and three independent directors (or three from Millhouse and two independent directors).

The chairperson of the board will have to be an independent directors agreed by the parties. The final composition will have to be approved by an extraordinary meeting of the shareholders.

Interros and Rusal also agreed to suspend their ongoing legal disputes. If the arrangements of the deal are implemented, the sides will drop their claims.

Norilsk Nickel’s shares gained 1.4 percent on the news as investors welcomed the reconciliation of the former foes.

Here are some interesting opinions of the corporate spat that divided the board previously - here and here


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin Oleg Deripaska Rusal Roman Abramovich 

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