The High Court of London has ruled that Crispian Investments, a unit of businessman Roman Abramovich’s Millhouse, should not have proposed and sold a stake in the Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel to Interros of tycoon Vladimir Potanin.
The sale infringed a shareholder agreement on preemptive rights between Interros and aluminum giant UC RUSAL, the court said.
The price of $234 per share at which Crispian offered the shares to RUSAL was unfair and was formed as a result of an agreement between Crispian and Whiteleave controlled by Interros, it also said.
A long-standing shareholder conflict, which was resolved in 2012 with the intermediation of Abramovich by signing an agreement with a five-year share lockup period, resumed in mid-February. The lockup period expired in December 2017, when Interros decided to buy Abramovich’s 4% in Norilsk Nickel. RUSAL filed a lawsuit to the High Court of London to suspend the deal.
In March RUSAL and Interros preliminarily agreed at court that each of them would buy about 2% in the nickel company from Crispian Investments, whose stake amounted to 6.37%. Interros has already closed its deal to acquire a 2.1% stake. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)