Vladimir Potanin announced the readiness of Norilsk Nickel's shareholders to extend the agreement, which expires in December. However, Oleg Deripaska, one of the shareholders, may have very different plans. He can buy out a stake in Roman Abramovich and start squeezing Potanin out of Norilsk Nickel. In support of this version indicates that the representative of UC Rusal Deripaska on questions about the extension of the agreement did not answer, and in Millhouse Abramovich refused to comment. Perhaps two oligarchs have already decided everything among themselves, and Potanin does not even know about it.
The shares between the owners of Norilsk Nickel are distributed as follows: Vladimir Potanin owns 30.4% through Olderfrey Holdings Ltd, Oleg Deripaska (UC Rusal) - 27.8%, Roman Crimber (Crispian Investments Ltd) - 5.5%. Abramovich's package occupies an insignificant part in the structure of his business, so the oligarch may well part with him in favor of Oleg Deripaska.
The shareholder agreement, which put an end to the long-standing conflict between Potanin and Deripaska, was concluded in 2012 for 10 years. It assumes that at the end of 5 years it is possible to buy out a share by one of the shareholders from another. And, apparently, Oleg Deripaska set his sights on Abramovich's share. And he prepared well for the beginning of the "war" with Potanin.
Deripaska is preparing a foothold
It is understandable why Oleg Deripaska can try to "capture" Norilsk Nickel. This year, contrary to forecasts of analysts, aluminum prices began to grow rapidly, since the beginning of the year the growth was 27.8%. UC Rusal is the largest aluminum company in the world. It is controlled by En + Deripaska, which combines the assets of a billionaire in metallurgy, energy and mining.
Recently, En + held an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, which was rated as the largest share placement of the Russian company since 2012. It managed to attract $ 1.5 billion. And this, of course, inspired Oleg Deripaska to make new exploits. It can be assumed that he will try to consolidate all the aluminum and nickel businesses in his hands. Aluminum Deripaska will have to negotiate with minority shareholders of UC Rusal Vekselberg, Blavatnik and Mikhail Prokhorov. Well, with Vladimir Potanin will have to "fight", there will hardly be an agreement.
Vladimir Potanin does not suspect anything?
Probably, it is not accidental. In early November, Oleg Deripaska repaid the debt of En + to VTB, from which UC Rusal, took a loan to buy shares in Norilsk Nickel. In the battle it is necessary to go out with a reduced debt burden. Now 29.99% of shares of UC Rusal are excluded from the pledge. Which, of course, will give Oleg Deripaska an opportunity for greater maneuver.
Probably, the billionaire has a dream - to create on the basis of En + Russian mining and metallurgical monster, which will produce aluminum, nickel, copper, platinum and palladium. But on the way to it are minority shareholders of UC Rusal and Vladimir Potanin. Will you have to "war" with them?
Perspectives of Deripaska
More recently, Oleg Deripaska, burdened with debts, was on the verge of collapse. But the IPO saved him. How long? And will there be enough money for Deripaska for his other projects? For example, the construction of the Taishet aluminum plant, which the oligarch is going to build 50% to 50% with RusHydro. Only in its construction Deripaska need to invest about $ 0.6 billion. Perhaps he again counts on bank loans? And it can quite get them against the backdrop of rising prices for aluminum. And if again the price falls? Then it is not known how Deripaska will pay and get out.
Although the stars definitely turned to Oleg Deripaska. In October, the Ministry of Energy decided to use aluminum wires when building houses. The cross-section of aluminum wiring should be 60% more than copper wire. And this requirement meets the products of UC Rusal. So, Oleg Deripaska has every opportunity to win a part of the market from copper producers. The cost of aluminum wires is 60% less copper.
Oleg Deripaska was going to "war"
The whole market of electrical wiring is estimated at $ 400-800 million. However, one should take into account that new players are not particularly welcome in any market. And no one gives up their territories without a fight. So here again Deripaska will have to "fight". With all of today's apparent well-being after the IPO problems, Oleg Deripaska seems to be above the roof. And his plans to further reduce the debt burden and exit on investment in 2019 may well remain plans.
While Oleg Deripaska has got hold of money, but he has an amazing ability to spend it. Perhaps, taking them out of their enterprises for personal needs. And any "war" - it also requires money. And its result is unpredictable. Especially, if your opponent is Vladimir Potanin, who will have more money. So in the end, Deripaska can lose everything.