Deripaska and Potanin, who are main sharehodlers of Norilsk Nickel, world's largest producer or nickel, locked in a dispute over control of the miner. The dispute escalated earlier this summer after Deripaska lost control of the Norilsk's board.
This week, Norilsk announced that it may, together with Potanin, buy out Deripaska's stake. Michael Thompson, analyst with RUXX index which tracks Russian stocks traded on Western exchanges, says that the buyout might be the optimal way to break the deadlock: "Both businessmen seek to control the company, but Deripaska has very high level of debt and unlikely to secure financing, while Potanin has financing available. He also has full support of the Norilsk management. Buyout is the best solution at the moment, especially given the Russian government's orders to resolve the situation immediately," - adds Thompson.
Analysts and investors hope for quick resolution of the conflict between the shareholders and fear that its further escalation might depress the company’s stock price.