Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg plans to file a suit against RusAl, the world’s largest aluminum producer, over statements posted by the firm about his resignation from RusAl’s board on Tuesday, the billionaire’s representative Andrei Shtorkh told Prime news agency on Wednesday.
“We will file a suit … Preparations may take several days. It is likely the trial will be in foreign court,” Shtorkh said.
In his letter of resignation, Vekselberg, who has headed RusAl’s board of directors since the company was founded in 2007, said his move was caused by disagreements with a number of recent decisions made by the company’s management, particularly over its debts and its handling of its stake in Norilsk Nickel.
”It is with great regret that I have to state that, due to the actions of its management, UC Rusal is presently facing a deep crisis, as a result of which UC Rusal has, in my opinion, deteriorated from an international aluminum leader into a company overburdened with debt and entangled in numerous lawsuits and social conflicts,” Vekselberg said.
RusAl claimed in Tuesday’s statement that discussions of Veskelberg’s resignation “centered on improving the efficiency of the board and were deemed necessary by the fact that Mr. Vekselberg had failed to perform his functions as a public company board chairman over the past 12 months. In his role as an acting Chairman of the Board, Mr. Vekselberg has not attended any of the live board meetings dating back to February 2011”.
RusAl also said “information on attendance of the board meetings is not a personal judgment and is confirmed by relevant board meeting minutes and is subject to disclosure in RusAl’s annual reports. Such minutes confirm that in 2011 Mr. Vekselberg did not participate in person in any live board meetings since February 2011”.
RusAl’s shares fell over four percent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at Wednesday’s close, on the news of the dispute among the shareholders of the aluminum giant. The company’s Russian Depositary Receipts on Russia’s MICEX-RTS stock exchange also fell over three percent by Tuesday’s close.