Russia's Rusal to appeal court decision on Norilsk case
Moscow (Platts)--28Feb2011/600 am EST/1100 GMT
Russia's largest aluminum producer Rusal plans to appeal a recent
decision by the Nevis court to give out an injunction on the disposal of
Norilsk Nickel shares held by Nickel's subsidiaries Corbiere and Raleigh, a
spokeswoman with Rusal said Monday.
"We'll file an appeal as soon as we've got documents from the court," the
spokeswoman said, adding the company expects to receive the papers "soon."
Rusal holds a 25% stake in Norilsk, which is a Russian producer of
platinum group metals and nickel. To protect its interest in the company, it
has sought in various courts that Norilsk's two subsidiaries, Corbiere and
Raleigh, retrain from transferring or disposing of shares.
On February 7, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of St. Christopher &
Nevis issued an interim order, prohibiting Corbiere Holdings, Norilsk's
indirect wholly owned subsidiary, from completing the tender offer for common
shares and American depositary shares of the miner.
But on Sunday, the court canceled the injunction, in a move which Rusal
said was held "in highly unusual circumstances."
"Rusal is particularly concerned about the highly unusual manner in which
this matter proceeded," the company said.
Rusal said the court held a three-day hearing on the case of Norilsk
Nickel share disposals starting Friday, rather than on the initially scheduled
date of March 2.
The court failed to inform Rusal about the new date of the hearing in due
course, and the hearing was held without Rusal's leading counsel present as
the counsel could not physically arrive to Nevis from London in time for this
court hearing, due to the short notice, Rusal said.
Rusal said it received notice of the Nevis court hearing on February 24,
after business hours, and the hearing began on Friday morning.
The judge present at the court hearing was Judge Edward Bannister from
British Virgin Islands, not the usual judge at Nevis, Rusal added.
The aluminum producer will also request a full investigation of the ex
parte communication which took place before the three-day hearing, it said.
Meanwhile, Corbiere, a Norilsk Nickel subsidiary said Monday that the
Nevis court has issued an order that would allow the company to proceed with
purchases of Norilsk Nickel shares.
The court discharged the injunction obtained by Rusal on February 3 that
prohibited Corbiere from share transfers. Corbiere also said that the
procedures leading to the February 3 injunction had proceeded without notice
"As a result of today's [February 28] order, Corbiere will now be able to
proceed with completion of the [December 29, 2010] offer to purchase and vote
the acquired shares, including American Depository Receipts, at the
Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting scheduled for March 11," Corbiere said.
"The court has also ordered Rusal to compensate Corbiere for damages
incurred by it as result of the injunction and to pay its legal costs," it
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