Potanin and Deripaska resume Norilsk Nickel talks

As reported in the Russian business daily Kommersant on 31 October 2012, oligarchs Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska, who have been at loggerheads over control of nickel, palladium and platinum producer Norilsk Nickel since 2010, with a court case due to be heard in London in late 2012, are now resuming talks to find a solution.

Potanin appears to have the upper hand at present, holding a large share in Norilsk Nickel and in apparent control of management,  and is keen to buy out Deripaska’s share. However, recently President Vladimir Putin publicly castigated management of Norilsk Nickel and the buyback of the company’s shares, which enabled Potanin to consolidate control.

Furthermore, Deripaska may be indicating a greater readiness to join forces with minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov through his Metalloinvest holding. Analysts expect Usmanov to play an intermediary role at this stage.

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