Interros refused to participate in the buyback of Norilsk Nickel // Rusal will receive the bulk of funds from the program

Interros did not present its shares in Norilsk Nickel for buyback as part of the buyback, the holding said. As a result, its share in the mining and metallurgical complex will increase. As the management of the holding explains, this corresponds to a long-term strategy, which implies continuing investment in Norilsk Nickel, rather than selling its shares. The refusal of the largest shareholder to participate in the buyback will allow Rusal to earn about $ 1.1 billion. The aluminum company this week presented its entire stake for buyback.

Interros of Vladimir Potanin did not apply for participation in the buyback of shares in Norilsk Nickel, the company said. The statement says that following the buyback, Interros’ stake in Norilsk Nickel will increase, which is in line with the holding’s long-term strategy. “We see the undervaluation and great potential of Norilsk Nickel, therefore, as a responsible managing shareholder, we will continue to invest in the company and not get rid of the shares,” said Sergei Batekhin, General Director of Interros. Norilsk Nickel shareholders agreed on a buyback in April (see Kommersant dated April 9), its goal is to maintain the company’s quotes and launch a long-term incentive program for employees.

Interros owns 34% of Norilsk Nickel shares, Rusal’s share, founded by Oleg Deripaska, in the MMC is 27.8%, Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov’s Crispian – 4.2% of shares. Rusal announced its participation in the buyback on June 15 (see Kommersant on June 16). The company presented the entire package for redemption. According to the buyback conditions, the buyback is carried out at a price of 27.7 thousand rubles. per share, and its total size cannot exceed $ 2 billion (3.4% of the authorized capital). If the volume of applications exceeds this amount, then they are satisfied proportionally. Applications from shareholders are accepted until June 18, and the buyback itself must be carried out by the end of the year. After the buyback, the repurchased shares will be mostly redeemed, which partially compensates for the decrease in the shares of those shareholders who participated in the buyback.

The deputy general director of Rusal, Maxim Poletaev, explained that Rusal is a strategic investor in Norilsk Nickel, and therefore seeks to maximize the return on this investment. Rusal’s share in the MMC, he said, should not fall below 25% plus 1 share after the redeemed shares are redeemed.

This year, at the suggestion of Norilsk Nickel’s management, the company’s final dividends for 2020 were cut. However, thanks to the repurchase of shares, the amount of funds distributed among the shareholders of Norilsk Nickel will be close to the dividend payments for 2019, ”Maxim Poletaev said.

Analysts at VTB Capital said that if Interros did not participate in the buyback program, Crispian would present its entire stake for the buyback, and minority shareholders – half of its shares. In this case, Rusal may receive a large part of the buyback program – about $ 1.1 billion, or 10% of the current capitalization of the aluminum company. The aluminum company explained its participation in the buyback with the need to finance its own investment program. In May, the company announced a project for the ecological restructuring of the Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Novokuznetsk and Bratsk aluminum plants worth $ 5 billion (see Kommersant, May 17). In addition, it is possible to use the funds received to pay off the debt to Sberbank.

Evgeny Zainullin

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