Vladimir Potanin, the key shareholder of Russian metals producer Norilsk Nickel, plans to start negotiations with aluminum maker RUSAL, which owns 27.82% in Norilsk, to change the dividend formula to reduce the payouts, Bloomberg reported on March 27.
Norilsk Nickel’s shares lost 2.2% at the opening of the Moscow Exchange on the news.
RUSAL of Oleg Deripaska uses Norilsk Nickel’s dividends to service the debt, while Potanin would like to invest some of the dividends to extend production of palladium and other metals. By virtue of a shareholder agreement signed until 2023, a change in the dividend formula of Norilsk Nickel requires consent by RUSAL.
Potanin told Bloomberg that discussion of the issue had become more difficult after RUSAL struck a deal with the U.S. Treasury, which weakened Deripaska’s influence on the company. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)