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Abramovich Seeks Deal After Prokhorov’s RBC Reports U.S. Arrest

Roman Abramovich is negotiating a settlement with fellow billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s RBC television over its erroneous report that he was detained in the U.S., said John Mann, Abramovich’s spokesman.

“It’s still ongoing,” Mann said by phone today from Moscow. “We’re leaving all options open, but we would like to come to some kind of understanding.” Asked if legal action was possible, he replied: “Yes.”

RBC reported on March 25 that the FBI had detained Abramovich, citing an unidentified person, information that was later denied by the businessman’s representatives. The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the story was inaccurate.

Evraz Plc, a Russian steelmaker part-owned by Abramovich, fell 3.6 percent on the news on March 25, reducing the value of his 32 percent stake by about $58 million. Shares declined in OAO Norilsk Nickel and Highland Gold Mining Ltd., in which Abramovich also has stakes.

OAO RBC, Prokhorov’s media holding company, runs RBC television, a 24-hour business channel. The billionaire said he doesn’t interfere in RBC’s editorial policy in comments cited by Itar-Tass yesterday and confirmed by his representative. A court should decide the outcome if necessary, Prokhorov was cited as saying by Tass.

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