An ongoing shareholder dispute among Russian oligarchs over the management of Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest metal producers,
has reached a temporary détente
following the sale of a stake in the Moscow-based company.
A statement announcing the settlement
released by Potanin’s Interros, Deripaska’s Rusal, and Abramovich’s Millhouse claims that Interros and Rusal have agreed to “suspend all legal disputes and claims that are currently active surrounding Norilsk Nickel.”
Several Am Law 100 and large international firms are helping the warring parties reach an agreement, which comes just as an arbitration proceeding related to the dispute was set to commence in London this week,
according to the Financial Times
Alexey Kiyashko, a corporate finance and cross-border M&A partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who coheads the firm’s Moscow office, is leading a team advising Abramovich on the deal. Other Skadden lawyers working on the matter include corporate partners Linda Davies in Moscow and Bruce Buck in London.
Former Chadbourne & Parke associate
serves as a nonexecutive director at Rusal, as does Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough partner—and former U.S. ambassador to the U.K.—
. Former Herbert Smith lawyer
also serves on the Rusal board and is director for corporate strategy at the company.
Deripaska’s Rusal will get to pick four of the Norilsk board’s 13 members, as will Potanin’s Interros; Abramovich’s Millhouse will nominate three. Rusal and Interros will agree on two independent directors to fill the remaining board seats,
according to Bloomberg
, which also reports that Potanin will become Norilsk’s CEO.
The long-running dispute between Potanin and Deripaska began in 2008 after Rusal purchased a 25 percent stake in Norilsk from the Onexim Group, a holding company controlled by Potanin’s former business partner and fellow tycoon
Egorov Puginsky and British firm
advised Rusal on that deal,
according to our previous reports
, and Deripaska subsequently sought $1.4 billion in compensation from Potanin for allegedly violating a shareholder agreement that provided rights to board representation for Rusal. (Ashurst and King & Spalding have also been advising Rusal in arbitration proceedings with Potanin’s Interros.)
Norilsk is the world’s largest producer of base metals like nickel and palladium, both of which are integral components in electronic products. The company’s former general counsel is