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Rusal Says Nigerian Court Ruling Won’t Affect Alscon Ownership

United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, said it expects to keep its 77.5 percent stake in a Nigerian unit even after the country’s highest court nullified the acquisition last week.

“According to our information, last Friday’s ruling of Nigeria’s Supreme Court neither changes, nor can change, the owner of Alscon,” Moscow-based Rusal said today in an e-mailed statement, referring to the Aluminum Smelter Co. of Nigeria.

Justice Olushola Fabiyi said July 6 that the court ruled against Rusal because the Russian company didn’t win the bidding for Alscon legally. The court ruled that another company, Bancorp Financial Investment Group, had “a valid contract” to acquire Alscon before Rusal took it over.

Bancorp Financial’s contract to acquire Alscon was terminated by Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises. That means the Nigerian government must “bear responsibility” for the Supreme Court’s ruling, Rusal said. “It cannot have an effect on Rusal’s ownership,” the company said.

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