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Billionaire Vladimir Potanin Moves Some of His Assets to Charity

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s sixth-richest person and a shareholder in OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, transferred some of the assets in his holding company to charity.

“Business assets of Interros Holding Co. and other companies affiliated with Potanin, excluding a part of the fortune which will be inherited by his children, were transfered to charity purposes,” Interros said in an e-mailed response to questions today, without giving further details.

Potanin, 53, who has a $13.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge initiative last year to donate most of his wealth to charity. His assets include a stake of about 30 percent in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium. Potanin has three children.

Potanin, who is also chief executive officer of Norilsk Nickel, may face a division of property during a divorce from his wife, who filed a motion to the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Feb. 4. Natalia Potanina was granted the right to request documents from two individuals residing in New York to search for information that she can use in potential divorce action, a court filing shows.

Potanina is seeking documents related to Interros’s overseas operations, including those conducted with the help of its U.S. company, Altpoint Capital Partners LLC, starting from 2007, the filing shows.

Potanin filed for divorce from Natalia in December in a Moscow court that hears cases involving assets with a maximum value of 50,000 rubles ($1,443). Potanina said that her husband “incorrectly asserted” that there is no dispute over division of property, her filing to the U.S. court shows.

The Moscow court delayed a hearing to the end of this month, giving the parties time for reconciliation. Kommersant newspaper reported Potаnina’s application to the Brooklyn court earlier.

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