Norilsk Nickel to divest non-core energy assets

Norilsk Nickel to divest non-core energy assets

Russian mining and metallurgical giant Norilsk Nickel has announced that it is to spin off its non-core energy assets into a standalone company. The shares of the new independent player will be distributed on a proportional basis among Norilsk Nickel’s shareholders.

Only the company’s energy assets that are not engaged in power supply to its production facilities in Norilsk will be subject to the spin-off. The company said that the final list of assets to be divested will be prepared by August to September 2007.

Andrey Klishas, chairman of the board of directors of Norilsk Nickel, said: “As a result of this spin-off, the largest private energy company in Russia will be created, so the restructuring will increase the shareholder’s value of Norilsk Nickel.”

Mr Klishas also said that the move would allow the company to focus on the operations and efficiency of its core businesses.

Norilsk Nickel said that, in accordance with the spin-off schedule approved by the board of directors, if the company’s shareholders vote for the reorganization at the general meeting in December 2007, the new company could be registered before the end of the year.

This is not the first time that Norilsk Nickel has embarked upon a major restructuring initiative. In 2005 to 2006, the company’s gold assets were successfully spun off into Polyus Gold.

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