Oleg Deripaska in December, when there were reports of possible new US sanctions, instructed his advisors to prepare an action plan in emergency situations, Reuters reported citing unnamed sources.
The management of the companies took preventive measures, one of the interlocutors of the agency states. By March, En + transferred most of its dollar payments to euros and pounds, one of the interlocutors points out. En + consultants also prepared a plan to gradually replace American equipment suppliers with European ones. In particular, we are talking about the supply of turbines, which are now actively purchased by the US General Electric. However, on many issues the company has not found ways out, according to one source. As an example, he cited an unsuccessful attempt by En + to find a non-US bank to service global depositary receipts. According to the interlocutor, the company applied to European banks, banks of Hong Kong, even to Israeli banks, but as soon as credit institutions heard about possible sanctions, negotiations ended with nothing. "All transactions are carried out through the dollar, and no one wants to risk being cut off from the dollar system," the source said. According to the source, En + was considering the possibility of servicing depositary receipts, which are traded on the London Stock Exchange, in Moscow. However, in this case, the company would need a new initial public offering of securities.
Proactive measures were taken by Deripaska himself - in February he left the post of president in UC Rusal and En +. It was hoped that by doing this he would protect companies from sanctions, even if he himself was on the blacklist, says one Reuters source.
The crisis management team of UC Rusal understood that the company has fewer options to mitigate the sanctions effect, unlike En +, because due to the specifics of the aluminum market, most of the company's debt and a significant part of the contracts are in dollars. According to one of the interlocutors, Deripaska and his team were particularly ill prepared for sanctions against UC Rusal, because they believed that the US would not want to violate the balance of the aluminum market, especially since Washington had not previously announced sanctions against public Russian companies.
According to the agency's interlocutors, top management and lawyers of Deripaska's companies met almost weekly to develop an action plan and considered various scenarios. But the advisers were forced to state: under one scenario - if the United States enters strict restrictive measures against the entire business of Deripaska - it will be difficult to mitigate the consequences, notes Reuters.
Washington chose this scenario: on April 6, the US Treasury announced that it was blocking sanctions against Deripaska and eight related companies, cutting them off from the American financial system and prohibiting business relations from being compromised by themselves under the secondary sanctions for this cooperation.
According to the source of Reuters, even before the introduction of sanctions representatives of the Deripaska companies discussed such an option, but they were only thrown into a "cold sweat". "You can not prepare for this in any way," the agency's interlocutor notes.
After falling into the sanctions list, the capitalization of the main assets of Deripaska, the second largest aluminum producer, UC Rusal, and En + Group, the energy company, collapsed on the world stock exchanges. The counterparties of UC Rusal began to refuse to supply aluminum, for fear of secondary sanctions, and the company itself stated about the risks of default on liabilities. Force majors under contracts with UC Rusal announced Glencore, Rio Tinto, a number of Japanese traders.
On April 23, the US Finance Ministry issued clarifications to the new sanctions. The agency said it could cancel restrictions on UC Rusal if Deripaska lost control of the company. On this news the shares of the aluminum company began to grow rapidly.
Deripaska called sanctions "unpleasant," but not an unexpected event. "The grounds for my inclusion in the sanctions list are absolutely baseless, ridiculous and simply absurd," he said. The government promised to help the companies under sanctions. One of the forms of support could be centralized public procurement, said Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. The state will create a special body under the government to counteract American sanctions. The companies from the sanctions list asked the authorities for about 100 billion rubles., Said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov: the government does not plan to give money, and Promsvyazbank can provide liquidity, on the basis of which a support bank for state defense order and large state contracts is being created.