Support The Moscow Times!

RusAl Won't Block Share Cancellation

United Company RusAl will not block a cancellation of shares that Norilsk Nickel will repurchase from investors, even though it says the deal benefits a rival shareholder, Vladimir Potanin's Interros.

"We consistently supported the idea of cancellation of treasuries, and this time is no exception, though we understand that Interros will benefit from it," deputy chief executive Maxim Sokov told reporters Thursday. The buyback is structured to benefit Interros, giving it the opportunity to sell as many shares as possible, Sokov said.

Norilsk will cancel repurchased shares if RusAl does not block the deal, Potanin said in an interview Wednesday.

Sokov said Norilsk should get approval from the Russian government on the planned $4.5 billion buyback under the strategic companies law. Norilsk's buyback is being carried out by foreign-registered units, which will cross a 10 percent threshold for ownership, which requires special permission.

Norilsk spokeswoman Erzhena Ishenko declined to comment immediately.

The nickel company's unit Norilsk Nickel Investments began a monthlong program Wednesday to repurchase 7.71 percent of the stock for as much as $306 a share, or $30.60 a depositary receipt.

The buyback has drawn criticism from RusAl, owner of a 25 percent stake. Interros and RusAl have been locked in a dispute over influence on the board and use of the company's cash since 2008. RusAl said Sept. 13 that the buyback is solely in the interest of Interros, which aims to take full control of Norilsk using the company's own balance sheet.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more