Viktor Vekselberg and Leonid Blavatnik, partners in the world largest aluminum producer UC RusAl, are looking forward to selling their 15.8% stake in the company. Vekselberg and Blavatnik’s Sual Partners company shares RusAl with Oleg Deripaska’s En+, Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim and Amokenga Holdings, Glencore’s subsidiary. They are quoted by Russian newspapers to disagree with Deripaska’s vision of the future of RusAl.
Alisher Usmanov, Russian billionaire, is expected by the Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) to buy the shares. Vekselberg and Blavatnik have made an offer to Usmanov, estimating the value of their stake at $3.95-4.75b. In Hong Kong trading, the same stake has much lower cost – just $2.4b. According to the agreements, a partner wishing to sell its stake in RusAl should first make offer to En+.
With a debt of $16.8b RusAl has stopped paying dividends since the second half of 2008 as a part of the plan to restructure the indebtedness. The company has already had the possibility to pay off the debt: Norilsk Nickel made a buyout offer to RusAl. The buyback of 20% was valued at $12.8b. Sual Partners and Onexim supported the offer, whereas En+ and Glencore turned it down.
In September RusAl plans to refinance the debt (as of 31 March the net indebtedness was $11.3b). After that the company will continue to pay dividends. However, En+ wants to lower the minimal payment from 50% of net profit (calculated according to IFRS), which was its usual practice, to 30%. These plans are opposed by Sual Partners.