MOSCOW, 17 Sep — PRIME. Norilsk Nickel has suspended negotiations with Rusal until the company is ready, said Vladimir Potanin, president of Norilsk Nickel, in an interview with RBC TV.
In July 2022, Vladimir Potanin spoke about the possible resumption of negotiations on the merger of Norilsk Nickel and Rusal. According to Potanin, this merger would resolve the conflict between him and the former head of Rusal, Oleg Deripaska, regarding dividend policy and management. In 2012, a shareholder agreement was concluded, which allowed the conflict to be resolved, but its validity expires on January 1, 2023.
“The initiative to resume these negotiations came from the new leadership of Rusal, but the dialogue failed to enter. I do not undertake to analyze the reasons for this. I believe that the idea is still interesting, it is still alive, but it will have to be postponed to a later date, when our colleagues are ripe for negotiations on this topic,” Potanin said.
He also noted that after the completion of the shareholder agreement, Norilsk Nickel will return to the usual system of corporate governance. “I think this is good, because the agreement played its role in a certain period of acute conflict, extinguished this conflict. And now it is already a rudiment that interferes in some sense with the development of the company and creates unnecessary rights for shareholders, which is not in a normal corporate governance,” Potanin added.
Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metals company, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, and a leading producer of platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium. The group’s production units are located in Russia in the Norilsk industrial region, on the Kola Peninsula and in Finland. The largest co-owners are the structures of HC Interros, owned by businessman Vladimir Potanin (35.95% of shares) and OK Rusal (26.25%).
Rusal is one of the leaders in the global aluminum industry, accounting for 5.6% of world aluminum production and 6.3% of alumina last year. The company is present in 20 countries and employs about 64,000 people. The main shareholders are En + group (56.88% of shares) and Sual (25.72% of shares), 17.4% of shares are in free float.