January 18, 2019 / 10:27 AM / a year ago

Three named to En+ voting trust as Deripaska looks to reduce stakes

Russian aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska waits before the talks of Russian President Vladimir Putin with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian conglomerate En+ Group (ENPLq.L) on Friday named three Americans who will form a voting trust to help Oleg Deripaska reduce his stake in the company in exchange for a waiver from U.S. sanctions.

Deripaska has agreed to reduce his stake in London-listed En+ to 44.95 percent from 70 percent and assign any voting rights above 35 percent to a voting trust.

D. J. Baker, David Crane and David Knower will, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, exercise the voting rights attached to certain shares of En+, which manages the energy and aluminum businesses of Deripaska, it said in a statement.

The company did not provide further details about the three individuals or the process of their selection. It was not also clear whether more people would join the voting trust.

The U.S. Treasury has agreed to remove sanctions against En+, aluminum producer Rusal (0486.HK), in which En+ owns a 48-percent stake, and power firm EuroSibEnergo, if they restructure to reduce controlling stakes held by Deripaska, who is to remain on Washington’s blacklist.

His deal with the U.S. Treasury includes Swiss commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) swapping shares in Rusal for a stake in En+.

VTB Bank (VTBR.MM), Russia’s second-largest lender, will also take over a block of Deripaska’s shares in En+ pledged as collateral for outstanding obligations.

Deripaska will also donate part of his stake to a charitable foundation. Several shareholders with professional or family ties to him will also assign their voting rights to an independent third party.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Jason Neely

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