Recently, the owner of Interros, Vladimir Potanin told reporters that he abandons his plans to acquire shares in Uralkali. But recently, Potanin was one of the most likely candidates to buy the asset of Dmitry Rybolovlev which had gone down in value very much. After all, Uralkali has been estimated at $ 6.86 billion on LSE; and this is despite the fact that the company holds about 10% of the world market of potassium chloride. Such a low price is appealing and has been exaggerated by the press for a long time; thus, the initial desire of Potanin to buy the asset was quite understandable, because the global financial recession is going to an end sooner or later, and the price of potassium is going to be increased. But why did Potanin refuse of that bargain almost at the last moment?
By the way, most recently there were rumors in the press that Vladimir Potanin is going to buy, 20% of Metalloinvest from Vasily Anisimov; the latter he owns it through the company Coalco International Ltd. The journalists even learnt the approximate price of the transaction already agreed by the businessmen - $ 2-2.5 billion. But again, something went wrong and the press office of Anisimov claimed that Potanin will not buy the stake in Metalloinvest. It is unclear what could have stopped him ...
In addition, the press speculated that the owner of Interros was seriously interested in the German shipyards Wadan Yards, which passed from Andrey Burlakov to Vitaly Yusufov (the son of a member of the board of directors of "Gazprom" Igor Yusufov) a year before that. The information that Yusufov was going to sell the shipyards had appeared a long time before. Under Yusufov the yards had got only one client within a year - Norilsk Nickel; thus, it became clear that the transfer of the asset under the control of Vladimir Potanin was not far off. When the order for 100 million euros on construction of the Arctic ice-class tankers Arc7 came from Norilsk Nickel at the shipyards, the fate of the German company Nordic Yards Holding GmbH. – owner of the shipyards – seemed to be doomed. But the transfer of shipyards from Yusufov to Potanin never took place. It is unclear why...
Just not so long time ago the press speculated that "Norilsk Nickel" (apparently, in the interest of Potanin again) wanted to get control over the company SUP, which owns social networking site "Live Journal". However, this did not happen, neither.
The only thing that happened was the acquisition of 24.99% stake in loss-making mining company "Russia Petroleum” for $ 576 million now by OGK-3, controlled by Norilsk Nickel, from the offshore Jarford Enterprises Inc., controlled by Interros. Now TNK-BP - the main creditor of "Rusia Petroleum” - has initiated bankruptcy of its assets; thus, it becomes clear that the money of OGK-3 (in fact, it belongs to Norilsk Nickel) has been spent in vain. Though, "Interros" could have been enriched thanks to it.
A long-awaited merger of Norilsk Nickel with Metalloinvest, or with" Rusal” did not happen as well. They rumored that it was due to the conflict of Potanin with Usmanov and Derepaska.
Moreover, because of the “Olympic scandal" associated with the proceedings concerning corruption in the administration of the president, a shadow of doubt "was put on the very realization of the Sochi project by Vladimir Potanin – a ski resort (resort) “The Rose Khutor."
But what is behind those failures and "not quite failures" of plans by Vladimir Potanin?
Perhaps, he has some secret (or not so secret)" disagreements with the authorities? Given the mass of rumors about the imminent nationalizing of “Norilsk Nickel” and possible revision of the outcome of Potanin’s shares-for-loans auctions, the version of possible conflict of Potanin with the government becomes real. And his refusal to commit a series of large (and, most importantly, profitable) transactions in Russia suggests that Vladimir Potanin has already planned to "escape" abroad ...
Source: The Moscow Post on 06/09/2010