April 27, 2018 / 4:12 PM / a month ago

Deripaska agrees in principle to reduce stake in En+ below 50 percent

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian sanctions-hit businessman Oleg Deripaska has agreed in principle to reduce his stake in Russia’s En+ Group (ENPLq.L), which manages his aluminum and hydropower assets, to less than 50 percent, the company said in a statement on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: President of En+ Group, Oleg Deripaska attends an agreement signing ceremony with the Krasnoyarsk region's government, in Moscow, Russia December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest companies and businessmen on April 6, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other so-called malign activities.

En+, along with Deripaska, who currently has a 65 percent stake in the company, and aluminum giant Rusal (0486.HK), in which En+ owns a 48 percent stake, were all hit with sanctions.

“Following a series of discussions with the Company’s independent chairman, Lord Barker of Battle, Mr Oleg Deripaska has agreed in principle to the chairman’s request that Mr Deripaska reduce his shareholding in the company to below 50 percent,” En+ said in the statement.

Earlier this week, the United States said it could remove Rusal from the list if Deripaska ceded control.

    Deripaska also agreed with the chairman’s proposal that he will resign from the board and consent to the appointment of some new directors so that the board will have a majority of new independent directors, it added.

    En+ also said that it asked the United States for an extension of the deadline for operations with En+’s debt, equity, or other holdings from the current May 7 to October 31 or another appropriate date.

    Without the extension, En+’s ability to maintain its listing in London will be materially impacted, it added.

    Source text for Eikon

    Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by David Goodman and Adrian Croft

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