Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Prosecutor General's Office to solve a shareholder conflict within the world's largest nickel manufacturer Norilsk Nickel, a Kremlin source said on Monday.
"The head of state ordered the Prosecutor General's Office to solve the problem. It is not clear yet if there were any violations, each party having their own rights. But the enterprise is large and it is not good that there is such a serious conflict between shareholders," the source told journalists, confirming that Medvedev had received a letter from Oleg Deripaska, head of RusAl, which owns a 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel.
The source also added that one of the solutions could be a replacement of shareholders, but the replacement could not be the state or state-controlled corporation Russian Technologies.
"Norilsk Nickel is a private company and should remain such," the source said.
RusAl and Interros, which each hold 25 percent of Norilsk Nickel, have been embroiled in a shareholder row since RusAl lost one seat on the board at Norilsk's annual shareholders' meeting on June 28. RusAl received only three seats, while Interros still has four, Norilsk Nickel managers have three and independent directors another three.
RusAl filed a request to the Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) asking it to check the AGM results. RusAl has accused Interros of ruining the parity and the board of directors of vote fraud. It asked the service to examine the possibility of launching legal proceedings after the check.
The aluminum giant also said shareholders were not informed about a decrease of the quorum to 75.7 percent from 92 percent. It said that third persons' votes were added to elect other candidates.
On August 2, Norilsk Nickel said in a statement that Andrei Klishas, Vice President of Interros, Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin's investment arm, had been appointed Norilsk's president. Analysts say Potanin is taking advantage of the shareholder row to consolidate his position in the management of Norilsk Nickel. RusAl has no representatives in Norilsk Nickel's top management but has three board seats.
MOSCOW, Aug 3 (RIA Novosti)