Abramovich Won’t Sell Nornickel Atake at Current Price: Report

Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov do not plan to sell their 6.3% stake in metals giant Norilsk Nickel at the current market price, sources close to the businessmen have said, according to RBC.

Abramovich, Abramov, and Frolov are generally satisfied with their package, while they are not intimidated with prospects for new U.S. sanctions against Russia, the sources said.

Abramovich and partners became shareholders of Norilsk Nickel in 2012 putting an end to the long-standing conflict between Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal (now owns 27.8% of Norilsk Nickel) and Vladimir Potanin’s Interros (32.1%). After that, the main co-owners of the company entered into a ten-year shareholder agreement, the guarantee of which was Abramovich.

Under this agreement, Abramovich and Abramov’s Crispian Investments was obliged to keep its share above 2.5% within five years. However, after this period expired (in December 2017), Crispian decided to sell most of its stake in Norilsk Nickel – 3.99 out of 6.3%, having received the offer of the Potanin’s structure at $234 per share, or $1.47 billion for the whole package. (3.99%). Rusal contested the deal in the High Court of London and won: at the end of June.

Even before the decision of the court, Potanin’s Interros managed to buy 2.1% of Norilsk Nickel from Abramovich for $770 million (Deripaska was going to buy another 1.9% in case of loss), but this deal had to be terminated. After that, Crispian could sell its stake in the company on the exchange or to a third party (although Potanin and Deripaska retain the right of first refusal). Crispian’s right to sell Norilsk Nickel’s shares on the market was previously reported by a source of Kommersant, noting that “there is lack of investors willing to pay such a bonus.”

However, Abramovich and partners have decided not to do this, the interlocutors told RBC.

If Abramovich and partners withdrew Norilsk Nickel board, the former head of the presidential administration, Valentin Yumashev, would be the new guarantor of compliance with the settlement agreement between Potanin and Deripaska, Bloomberg wrote in May.