United Co. Rusal Chief Executive Officer Oleg Deripaska settled a lawsuit seeking as much as $1 billion filed by Michael Cherney over a stake in the world’s largest aluminum producer.
The lawsuit was “terminated,” Deripaska and Cherney said in separate statements yesterday, without commenting further on the terms of any agreement.
An increasing number of U.K. trials have exposed the business practices of a small group of extremely wealthy Russians who profited from the fall of communism and privatization of many of the country’s largest energy companies.
Cherney, a businessman living in exile in Israel, sued Deripaska in the London trial beginning in July, saying they were partners in Russia during the 1990s and that he was owed a share of Rusal.
Deripaska, a 44-year-old billionaire, worth $10 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, made his fortune in Russia’s metals trade. He denied they were ever partners. He said Cherney is a criminal who used gangster contacts to get protection payments or “krysha,” according to documents filed at the London high court.
Cherney said he had two documents Deripaska signed in 2001 promising to hold shares for him. While Cherney didn’t specify an amount in the lawsuit, those shares could be now worth as much as $1 billion, according to Rusal’s current market valuation.
A U.K. judge threw out a claim last month by former Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky that he lost about $6.8 billion because he was intimidated by Roman Abramovich into selling stakes in two Russian companies.
Berezovsky separately agreed to drop a four-year-old dispute against the estate of his former business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili Sept 13.
Earlier this month, Berezovsky, the 66-year-old former adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin was also sued in London by Russia’s Volga River region of Samara for around $30 million for embezzlement.