Two of Russia’s premier metal firms are squaring up for another fight as Rusal says it is preparing another lawsuit against Nornickel’s CEO Vladimir Potanin.
In a court order reported on by Reuters, the Russian aluminium giant wishes to “bring certain further claims” not covered in a prior lawsuit against Potanin and connected firm Whiteleave Holdings Ltd. The initial lawsuit by Rusal against Nornickel and Potanin was filed in mid-October in London.
The “further claims” involve a 2012 agreement between the two parties that protected dividend payouts. The deal, which was scheduled to end last year, consisted of an agreed-upon amount of the profits that would be paid out as dividends and what amount would be tilled back into the company.
Rusal offered no comment when contacted by Reuters, but it has said previously that its litigation is meant to protect the interests of shareholders of Nornickel. Both parties together own over half of the company, as Potanin has a 37 percent share and Rusal holds 26 percent of the firm.
“Lawyers on the case are waiting for their licence as they are preparing to litigate.”
According to Rusal, Potanin and Whiteleave what it terms “crucial subsidies.” Rusal alleges that Potanin and Whiteleave’s did so “with the sole or main purpose of diverting value away from the (Nornickel) Group, as part of a wider strategy of entrenching (Whiteleave and Potanin’s) control.”
The defendants have to wait at least three and a half months to get into the courtroom on these issues, as their law firm must wait for the British Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to grant them a license to act as their legal counsel.