Norilsk Biggest Micex Gainer on Abramovich Deal: Moscow Mover

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel was the biggest gainer on the Micex Index after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich agreed to buy a 7.3 percent stake in the miner as its two biggest owners seek an end to a four-year feud over control of the company.

Norilsk gained as much as 1.6 percent and closed up 1.4 percent at 4,876 rubles in Moscow. The amount of shares traded was 490,056, equivalent to 1.6 times the three-month average. The Micex snapped three days of gains, falling 0.7 percent.

Abramovich’s Millhouse LLC investment company will acquire the stake in Moscow-based Norilsk as part of a settlement between its shareholders United Co. Rusal and billionaire Vladimir Potanin, Hong Kong-listed Rusal said today in a statement. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

“Abramovich should eventually come up as a guarantor of general parity of shareholders rights, restoring the balance between Interros and Deripaska,” Sberbank CIB analysts led by Mikhail Stiskin said in an e-mailed note.

Potanin, whose Interros Holding Co. owns 28 percent of Norilsk, will take over as chief executive officer of the nickel company, which will also nominate an independent chairman, Rusal said. Rusal, controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska, owns 25.1 percent of Norilsk. Potanin and Deripaska have battled publicly and in the courts for control of Norilsk since May 2008. Rusal rose 0.8 percent to 183.87 rubles.

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