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Industrials

Russia's Vekselberg faces record Swiss fine

* Could have to pay 40 mln Sfr-Renova

* Accused of violating Swiss disclosure rules-Renova

* Vekselberg to fight decision in court-Renova

ZURICH, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Switzerland has fined Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg a record 40 million Swiss francs for violating disclosure rules when he built up his stake in Swiss industrial group Oerlikon OERL.VX, Renova, his investment vehicle, said.

Renova said on Thursday Vekselberg would challenge the decision in court and denied any wrongdoing.

Swiss regulators accused Vekselberg of not declaring that he was acting as part of a group with two Austrian investors in 2006 after he bought Oerlikon shares from them, Renova said.

“Renova Group denies these unproven allegations and asserts that it has always meticulously upheld all legal rules within the area of its responsibility and influence, including disclosure laws,” it said in a statement.

Renova said the fine is equivalent to around 20 percent of the value of its stake in Oerlikon, which makes coatings for Formula One racing cars and machines used to make solar cells.

A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said the process was ongoing, declining to give further details.

"The decision of the Federal Department of Finance may cause damage to the overall investment climate in Switzerland and business of foreign companies in the country," said Renova, which also holds a controlling stake in Swiss engineering group Sulzer SUN.S.

Swiss authorities are also looking into whether Vekselberg, who made his fortune in the aluminium and oil sectors, violated disclosure rules when he amassed his stake in Sulzer by not registering his stakes when crossing certain thresholds.

A source familiar with the case said a fine could be as high as 2 billion francs. (Editing by David Cowell)

$1=1.048 Swiss Franc

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