Legal claims leave Rusal float in the balance

Legal woes might yet scupper the £3.75bn London flotation of Rusal, the aluminium giant.

It emerged over the weekend that the Russian conglomerate was in talks with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over potential claims the company might face in the future.

One potential problem could be from businessman Michael Cherney, a Russian living in Israel. He is suing his former employee and Rusal chairman Oleg Deripaska over a stake worth £6bn in Rusal. The case will be heard in England and Deripaska refutes the claims.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Ashurst and Egorov Puginsky & Partners (EPAP) are advising Rusal on the flotation, while Linklaters is advising the underwriters, JP Morgan Cazenove and Morgan Stanley, as first reported by The Lawyer (18 June).

A Rusal spokesman denied there were any problems with the flotation. He told The Lawyer that plans were progressing.

The flotation was conditional on Rusal’s £16bn tripartite merger last year with Sual and Glencore. On that, Ashurst and EPAP led for Rusal while Linklaters advised Sual and Glencore.

The lawyers at the respective firms could not be reached for comment.