Viktor Vekselberg and his partners acquired 7% of UC Rusal

Perhaps now they will seek to sell the blocking stake in Norilsk Nickel.
Zonoville Investment several co-owners of Sual Partners (a shareholder of the aluminum company) bought out 7% of UC Rusal from Onexim for $ 503.88 million, UC Rusal reported. At the exchange, such a package on Thursday was worth $ 714 million, the average price for half a year before the deal was $ 482 million.

After the transaction, under the control of Viktor Vekselberg and his partners there will be 22.8% of UC Rusal, while Onexim has 6.7%. Does the company intend to sell them, it is unclear. In February, Prokhorov sold on the stock exchange a 3.32% stake in UC Rusal. The representative of Onexim declined to comment. The representative of Sual Partners was not able to receive comments.

Onexim became a co-owner of UC Rusal in April 2008, when Prokhorov sold her a blocking stake in Norilsk Nickel. Onexim received 14% of UC Rusal and $ 4.5 billion, and another $ 2.5 billion was to be received within a year. But because of the crisis, the debt repayment, which had already grown to $ 2.7 billion, had to be restructured. In part, Onexim agreed to convert the debt into shares and received another 6%. After the IPO of UC Rusal in 2010, the share of Onexim fell to 17.02%.

Since then, the UC Rusal package has brought Onexim only about $ 86 million in dividends. The president of the group, Dmitry Razumov, repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are in UC Rusal. And in 2012 he even left the company's board of directors.

But to get rid of the package of UC Rusal "Onexim" decided only a year ago. Then the group sold part of the assets. The reason Vedomosti's interlocutors called Prokhorov's reluctance to engage in business in Russia. Part of Vedomosti's interlocutors linked the pessimistic mood of the businessman with searches by the FSB last spring in the head office of Onexim. According to the official version, the searches were connected with the Tavrichesky Bank, which sanitizes the IFC controlled by Onexim. But sources in Prokhorov's circle and federal officials told that the searches were an act of intimidation: the Kremlin was dissatisfied with the editorial policy of RBC's media holding owned by Onexim.

By the end of last year, the threat to Prokhorov was over, the businessman from the "Golden Hundred" Forbes and several other familiar leaders of "Onexim" told Vedomosti. But the businessman lost interest in developing business in Russia, say three of his acquaintances.

The money raised from the sale of the UC Rusal package was partly spent on paying off Onexima's debt to VTB, the banker working with the group told Vedomosti. The amount of debt is not known to him. A representative of VTB did not comment on client information.
A year ago, Sual Partners was ready to buy 12% of shares from Onexim for $ 700 million. Now only a few shareholders of Sual Partners participate in the transaction, Vedomosti sources said. In addition to Vekselberg, it is still Leonard Blavatnik, a source close to one of the shareholders of the aluminum holding said. The full list of shareholders of Sual Partners, owners of aluminum plants of Suala, which in 2007 became part of UC Rusal, was never disclosed. In the prospectus of UC Rusal for IPO in 2010 it was reported that Vekselberg had 35.84% of Sual Partners, Blavatnik and his family members - 30.56%.

During the year, UC Rusal's valuation for the transaction grew by almost a quarter after the company's capitalization and aluminum prices. Prokhorov has gone cheap, I'm sure the top manager of a large company: in such a growing market it was possible to gain much more.

The main value of UC Rusal is its 27.82% stake in Norilsk Nickel, says the top manager of one of the largest private investment funds. From 2012 to 2016, the company received $ 3.34 billion in dividends for its stake. This money allowed UC Rusal to serve a huge debt - from 2012 it fell by 22% to $ 8.42 billion. The company does not want to sell the stake, although in 2011 Nornikel itself was ready to buy it. "I thought and believe that it was a huge mistake not to sell the package," Vekselberg said in an interview with Vedomosti last spring. - Yes, having this money, we would have paid off long ago, we would have had a clean balance and a lot of money. UC Rusal would be a very attractive company, it would have money for a new development. "

"Sual and Onexim <...> will seek to sell or allocate a 27.8% stake in Norilsk Nickel and / or increase dividends to UC Rusal. In our opinion, the outcome may be positive for minority shareholders, "BCS analysts wrote in their report. The increase in the package will not give Sual Partners any additional powers, a source close to one of the shareholders of the aluminum holding assures: minority shareholders will not even be able to nominate an additional director to the board. Vedomosti's interlocutor doubts that the largest shareholder of UC Rusal - En + Oleg Deripaska will support the idea of ​​allocating a package of Norilsk Nickel, or even more so of its sale.