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United Company Rusal Plc v Crispian Investments Limited & Anor

The Commercial Court has issued the reasons for its decision in a dispute between United Company Rusal Plc (“Rusal”, a company associated with Oleg Deripaska and one of the world’s major producers of aluminium) and Crispian Investments Limited (“Crispian”, a company associated with Roman Abramovich) as to a proposed sale by Crisipian of its shares in PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and palladium.

Rusal contended that Crispian was not entitled to make the sale because it had failed to comply with applicable restrictions contained within a shareholders agreement between Rusal, Crispian and a third shareholder (a company associated with Vladimir Potanin).

In a decision handed down on 27 June 2018 (with reasons on 17 September), Mr Justice Phillips found in favour of Rusal, deciding that the proposed sale was precluded by the terms of the shareholders agreement.

Christopher Pymont QC, David Mumford QC, Thomas Munby and James Kinman, each of Maitland Chambers, appeared for the successful Claimant, instructed by Macfarlanes LLP.