En+ raises stake in Rusal to 57% after Glencore asset swap

FILE PHOTO: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's En+ Group ENPLq.L has raised its stake in aluminium giant Rusal to 56.88% after completing an asset swap with Glencore, part of a deal that has helped companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska to ward off U.S. sanctions.

En+ Group and Glencore GLEN.L agreed in 2017 that Glencore would swap its 8.75% stake in Rusal 0486.HK for shares in En+ Group, an aluminium and hydropower group controlled by Deripaska, following En+'s initial public offering.

However, the deal was suspended in 2018 when the United States announced sanctions on Deripaska, Rusal, En+ and other companies in which he owns stakes, citing “malign activities” by Russia.

After lobbying by European governments, Washington postponed enforcement of the sanctions and started talks with Deripaska’s team on removing Rusal and En+ from the blacklist if he ceded control of Rusal.

Deripaska, seen as an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, remains under sanctions.

However, the three Deripaska companies - Rusal, En+ and power firm EuroSibEnergo - agreed to restructure to reduce Deripaska’s stakes and the sanctions against them have been lifted.

The first part of the asset swap was completed in February 2019 when En+ acquired 2% in Rusal, raising its stake to 50.12%.

The rest of the swap has now been completed, En+ said on Monday, helping to reduce Deripaska’s holding in En+.

Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Mark Potter