RUSAL exec: Norilsk Nickel may lose $1 bln in next buyback

MOSCOW, Aug 11 (PRIME) — Russian metals and mining giant Norilsk Nickel could lose around U.S. $1 billion if it decides to carry out another round of buying back shares and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), Maxim Sokov, a member of the companys board of directors, told PRIME Thursday.

The companys board of directors plans to consider the issue on August 15 at the request of a Russian holding Interros representative on the board, Norilsk Nickel said earlier. Interros, owned by Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin, holds 30% in the company.

Sokov, who is also director for corporate strategy at aluminum giant RUSAL, which holds 20% in Norilsk Nickel, said that the buyback had been proposed to benefit Interros, which wants the price of shares to exceed their current market price. RUSAL could take the necessary measures to protect its shareholders rights, including criminal proceedings Sokov added.

The price is expected to take into account the most recent offer by Norilsk Nickel to buy out RUSALs 20% stake. Norilsk Nickels U.S. $12.8 billion buy out offer was later rejected by, RUSAL.

The price could amount to up to $335 per share. Norilsk Nickel closed at 6,609 rubles (around $225) per share on Wednesday on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX).

Earlier this year, Norilsk Nickel completed a buyback of around 2.38% of its outstanding common shares for $1.2 billion and around 6.85% for $3.293 billion.

The companys current charter capital is split into 190.628 million common shares with a face value of one ruble per share.

(29.3065 rubles – U.S. $1)


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