Support The Moscow Times!

RusAl Hires Legal Counsel for SUAL Arbitration

United Company RusAl said it hired legal counsel to advise on arbitration brought by SUAL Partners to overturn trading contracts with Glencore International.

RusAl received the request for arbitration on April 4, made to the London Court of International Arbitration, the company said in a statement Tuesday. SUAL, RusAl's third-biggest shareholder, is suing the aluminum producer and Glencore as well as RusAl chief executive Oleg Deripaska and his En+ Group, RusAl's biggest shareholder.

SUAL, controlled by Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik, accused En+ and Swiss trader Glencore of breaching a 2007 shareholder agreement for pushing through new contracts without its consent, three people with knowledge of the matter said April 6. The lawsuit escalates a shareholder conflict over RusAl management's decision to hold on to 25 percent of Norilsk Nickel.

"We haven't upgraded the stock because we felt this conflict has too many uncertainties," Robin Tsui, a Hong Kong-based analyst with BOC International Holdings, said Tuesday by phone. The differences seem to be "more about pride than money," he said.

Glencore, which owns 8.75 percent of RusAl, said in a statement Tuesday that it received a request for arbitration on April 4 and doesn't intend to comment further on the proceedings.

RusAl shares were unchanged at 5.76 Hong Kong dollars (75 cents) as of the 4 p.m. close Tuesday in Hong Kong. The stock has fallen 56 percent in the past year, compared with a 16 percent decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.