Abramovich to vote 22 percent stake in Norilsk

MOSCOW Tue Dec 4, 2012 5:56am EST

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich arrives at Commercial Court in London January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich arrives at Commercial Court in London January 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Billionaire Roman Abramovich will control the largest single stake in Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) under a peace deal announced on Tuesday by the main shareholders in the Arctic miner as they ended a four-year-old dispute.

In a statement, Vladimir Potanin's holding company Interros and RUSAL (0486.HK), the aluminum major in which Oleg Deripaska is the largest shareholder, said they had reached a "principal agreement" to end their dispute.

Under the deal, Abramovich's holding company Millhouse will acquire a 7.3 percent stake in Norilsk by buying quasi-treasury stock at a market price, the joint statement said.

The three parties will deposit approximately 22 percent of Norilsk Nickel shares into an escrow account, contributing in equal parts.

"Millhouse will control the compliance with the partnership agreement while voting with this block of shares," the statement added. Norilsk's board will also be convened shortly to appoint Potanin as the company's chief executive.

Prior to the agreement, Interros owned 28 percent of Norilsk and RUSAL 25 percent.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)

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