Russian billionaires take boardroom battle to London High Court – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters Africa – May 14, 2018)

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Russia tycoon Oleg Deripaska gave evidence in the London High Court on Monday in a case challenging the sale of shares in Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) by soccer club owner Roman Abramovich.

Deripaska, making his first public appearance since being made a target of U.S. sanctions, wants to stop Abramovich selling Nornickel shares to another Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin, saying it violates a 2012 shareholder deal.

The hearing, which is expected to last four days, is part of a long-running battle for control of the mining firm, one of the world’s biggest producers of nickel.

Deripaska, the co-owner of En+ and Rusal that have also been targeted by U.S. sanctions, told the court he was “quite upset that Rusal’s interests could be seriously damaged” when asked about discussions with Potanin. Deripaska, who was dressed in a dark blue suit and tie, spoke to the court in Russian via an interpreter.

Deripaska and Potanin have periodically been at loggerheads since Rusal bought a stake in Nornickel just before the 2008 global financial crash. Court documents said Deripaska and Potanin disagreed on how Nornickel should be run.

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