In the controlled by Oleg Deripaska En + Group and "Rusal" are preparing major personnel reshuffle. The businessman will leave the post of the president of the companies to deal with the development of the GAZ Group, including a strategic partnership with VW, which may receive a stake in the Russian company. Maxim Sokov will be the president of En +: he oversees the investment of Rusal in MMC Norilsk Nickel, where another conflict with Interros Vladimir Potanin is brewing. A number of interlocutors of Kommersant also consider the changes to be a consequence of the inclusion of Oleg Deripaska in the "Kremlin report". But Kommersant sources close to Rusal shareholders and analysts say that the reshuffle is not related to current conflicts and problems.
Oleg Deripaska plans to leave the post of president in the controlled En + Group and "Rusal", told three sources, "Kommersant", close to the various shareholders of the aluminum company. According to them, the businessman will remain on the boards of directors of companies as a non-executive director. President of En + will be the current CEO Maxim Sokov, the president of RusAl - Vladislav Solovyov, who will also take the post of general director of En + instead of Mr. Sokov, giving up the chairmanship of Rusal's CEO to its financial director Alexandra Buriko (most likely, they will look for a substitute inside Rusal) .
Mr. Deripaska became president of En + in 2013, and "Rusal" - in 2014 (the post was created specifically). The businessman directly headed "Rusal" in 2000-2003 and later again took control in crisis year 2009.
According to Kommersant sources, now Oleg Deripaska decided to leave the presidential posts for a number of reasons. As for En +, the task of putting the group on the LSE is realized, the group "has a development strategy, a good corporate management and a strong top management team", complemented by Mr. Soloviev (since December 2017 he is on the Board of Directors of the group). The businessman himself does not need to lead RusAl himself, according to Kommersant's sources: although the departure of the businessman from the operational management takes place against the background of transformations in the structure of the company's co-owners (Sual Partners Viktor Vekselberg and Leonard Blavatnik in 2017 increased the share to 20.5% ONEXIM Mikhail Prokhorov reduced to 6%, and Glencore should soon exchange its 8.75% of Rusal for 11% En +), the shareholder agreement is valid. The third source of Kommersant believes that the personnel reshuffle "rather emphasizes the role of En + as the head structure of a businessman in the industrial segment."
The new president of En + Maxim Sokov is a lawyer by training, he is on the Norilsk Nickel strategy committee, where RusAl owns 27.8%, and since 2008 oversees this investment, around which the third corporate war of Rusal, with Interros by Vladimir Potanin (30.4% of shares). The other day it became known that Interros made a proposal to redeem GMK shares to Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov (cumulatively about 6.5%), while Rusal was trying to block or delay the deal in the High Court of London (see "Kommersant" from 17 February). A number of Kommersant sources say that Deripaska and Potanin are preparing for a "Russian roulette" or "duel" - a multi-way procedure for buying back each other's shares with higher rates and serious penalties in the event of failure to fulfill the terms of the "duel" (selling 1.875% of MMC for conditional $ 1).
However, Kommersant sources assert that the appointment of Maxim Sokov is not connected with a new conflict in Norilsk Nickel: "Signals about the future retirement of Mr. Deripaska from this post were given to the market during the IPO En + in November 2017". In the public field, however, other information appeared: about the possible departure of Oleg Deripaska together with Glencore CEO Aivan Glasenberg from the board of directors of Rusal (this was reported in October by RIA Novosti).
Two interlocutors of Kommersant in investment companies admit that Mr. Deripaska decided to withdraw from the management of companies with foreign public listing because of including him along with other participants of the Russian Forbes list in the so-called "Kremlin report" of the United States: "When you have the right of final signature and the need to conduct numerous negotiations, increased attention due to the list can be problematic. " President and co-owner of LUKOIL Vagit Alekperov said on February 15: "Of course, additional difficulties have appeared - banks are more carefully approaching transactions, additional information is required ... In any case, this will complicate the financial operations - both my personal and company."
According to Kommersant sources, Oleg Deripaska wants to develop other assets, in particular the GAZ Group, which is not yet part of the board of directors and management: "The businessman plans to concentrate on the engineering segment in the same way that Rusal and En + , where long-term plans have already been realized. " In particular, in the GAZ Group Oleg Deripaska will develop "strategic partnerships". It's about VW, which assembles the power of the group and supplies it chassis and engines. Head of Volkswagen Group Rus Markus Ozegovich told reporters at the end of January about the entry of Volkswagen Truck and Bus into the co-owners of GAZ, that "there are some ideas on this matter". The CEO of MAN TRACK AND BASE RUS (a subsidiary of MAN, part of VW) Peter Andersson in November 2017 claimed that "in the strategy of the Volkswagen Truck and Bus division there are plans to move a large number of technological operations to Russia."
The boards of directors of En + Group and "Rusal" will consider the issues of personnel reshuffle in companies at the end of this week, interlocutors of "Kommersant" say. "Rusal" will hold a board of directors on Thursday, February 22, to, among other things, approve the financial statements for 2017, the company's website says. Information on the upcoming meetings of En + councils and the GAZ group is not available, but on February 27, an extraordinary meeting of GAZ Group shareholders is to be held, at which an additional issue on private subscription will be discussed (details are not disclosed). In En +, RusAl, Sual, ONEXIM and the GAZ group declined to comment.