13 Aug 2018 13:14

Deripaska proposes lowering stake in En+ to below 45%, transferring shares to VTB - FT

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) - The principal owner of En+ and UC Rusal , Oleg Deripaska, has presented the final option for lifting sanctions from the companies to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the FT reports.

He agreed to lower his stake in En+ from 70% to less than 45%, transferring the shares to VTB which is also subject to U.S. sanctions. The plan has yet to be approved by OFAC.

According to FT sources, VTB would hold the En+ shares briefly until the sanctions are lifted from Deripaska's companies. Two U.S. citizens, approved by En+ would control voting rights on this stake. VTB would later sell the En+ shares on the market to cover loans issued earlier to Deripaska's companies.

Deripaska also agreed to transfer dividends from the remaining stake in En+ to an escrow account, access to which he will receive only after he ceases to be subject to U.S. sanctions.

The lifting of sanctions would enable Glencore to exchange its stake in Rusal for En+ shares, which would help reduce Deripaska's stake in En+, the FT said.

"VTB welcomes any solution which would remove En+ from U.S. sanctions and is prepared to be involved in carrying out any plan agreed with OFAC," VTB's press office told Interfax.

VTB, which is currently a minority shareholder in En+ Group, is prepared to consider increasing its stake in the aluminum and energy group if a way is found to get it out from under sanctions, the state bank's first deputy CEO, Yury Solovyev told Interfax at the end of May. VTB currently has a 9.62% stake in En+.

En+ has around two months to reach an agreement on its proposals with OFAC as the grace period for conducting business with Rusal expires on October 23. This day is also the deadline for the transfer of En+, Rusal and GAZ Group shares and debt.