Owner of Russian aluminum giant plans to split overseas business


Rusal’s majority shareholder,

486 34.08%

Russia’s biggest aluminum maker said it was considering separating the company’s international operations and that its UK chairman was stepping down.

The double announcement from EN+ Group International PJSC comes as the war in Ukraine poses various challenges to companies operating in Russia, prompting some Western-based companies to reassess their presence in the region.

EN+ announced on Monday that it is reviewing its strategy vis-à-vis United Co. Rusal PLC, the world’s second largest aluminum company, in which it holds 57% of the capital. Options being considered include the possibility of divesting Rusal’s international business, which would be owned by management and non-Russian investors.

EN+ is listed in London and counts Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch sanctioned in the United States in 2018, as its largest shareholder with a 45% stake. Commodities giant Glencore PLC is also a shareholder of EN+, with a 10.5% stake.

Spokespersons for Mr. Deripaska and Glencore declined to comment. Glencore said last week it was reviewing its business in Russia, including its EN+ stake.

EN+ counts Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who was sanctioned in the United States in 2018, as its largest shareholder.


Photo:

Andrei Samsonov/Zuma Press

EN+ also said on Monday that its chairman, Greg Barker, had resigned. Mr Barker, a former British government minister, will be replaced by Christopher Bancroft Burnham, a former State Department official who had been the company’s senior independent director.

Mr Barker was among a group of British businessmen and former government officials who served on the boards of Russian companies. A member of the British House of Lords, Mr Barker had been criticized by British lawmakers for his position on the board of EN+ after Russia invaded Ukraine.

News of the strategic review was reported earlier by Bloomberg, which said Mr Barker could lead any new company created from Rusal’s international assets.

However, the majority of Rusal’s operations are in Russia or dependent on the country’s product. It does, however, have foundries in Ireland and Jamaica, among other assets.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the United States and allied countries have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia. The WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains how these sanctions affect everyone from President Vladimir Putin to ordinary Russian citizens. Photo: Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Write to Alistair MacDonald at alistair.macdonald@wsj.com

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