Regional court sides with RUSAL in Norilsk Nickel buyback dispute

The Krasnoyarsk regional court has deemed that Norilsk Nickel and Vladimir Potanin's Interros are affiliated bodies, thus siding with UC RUSAL's claim.

RUSAL disputed the September 2011 decision by the Norilsk board to buy back shares worth USD 4.5 billion.

RUSAL claimed that Norilsk should have obtained governmental clearance for the buyback in accordance with Russian law, which at the time of the transaction restricted foreign companies and their affiliates from surpassing 10% stakes in strategic Russian businesses.

The court found that Interros Investments, through which Vladimir Potanin owns its stake in the nickel producer, and Norilsk Nickel Investments Ltd, through which the buyback was executed, are affiliated bodies.

Thus the total stake in Norilsk Nickel owned by a non-Russian resident reached 16.9%.

The court decision enables RUSAL to claim USD 1.4 billion in compensation.

Source (Russian): Vedomosti