Sorting out problems at Norilsk Nickel would help enhance Russia’s image among foreign investors.
Mr Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea soccer club, could also act as a conduit for the Kremlin at the cash-rich company that mines the vast mineral deposits of Russia’s far north.
Having brought an end to the four-year feud between Mr Potanin and Mr Deripaska, he could potentially end up sidelining them as President Vladimir Putin seeks to restore order at the $30bn miner that was privatised in the mid-1990s.
Might not too. The idea that boardroom disputes (this one was essentially about whether the company should pay hefty dividends or reinvest internally. Derpiaska wanted the divis as he’s cash poor with large debts. The others preferred internal investment.) get solved by the President taking a direct interest and slipping in one of his buddies is, umm, interesting, as a method of enhancing an image for foreign investors.
Mr Abramovich will hold 5.87pc of Norilsk Nickel, Rusal will hold 7.8pc and Potanin’s Interros will hold 30.3pc after Norilsk’s treasury shares – amounting to almost 17pc of its issued capital – are cancelled.
To ensure Mr Abramovich’s role as enforcer of the peace, the other two billionaires will give him voting power over some of their shares.
It’s got political fix written all over it, doesn’t it?