03 July 2005 – John Waples and Dan Box Sunday Times
RUSSIAN oligarch Oleg Deripaska has settled a $300m (£159m) dispute with the billionaire Reuben brothers ahead of plans to float Rusal, his aluminium giant, on the London Stock Exchange. Simon and David Reuben, along with their company Trans-World Metals and former business partner Lev Chernoy, had sued Deripaska for $300m over an alleged breach of contract in a joint metals-trading business.
The action stems from a trading dispute between the two parties in the 1990s. Deripaska has paid the bulk of the money and a smaller payment is still due. In a separate dispute involving a Russian company, Sibir Energy, the AIM-quoted oil group, has appointed London law firm Ashurst to consider legal action against Sibneft, the oil giant controlled by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. Sibir alleges Sibneft cheated it out of a $1.5 billion 50% stake in a joint venture between the two firms. The company has also appointed another London law firm, Macfarlanes, to investigate how this stake was diluted to about 1%, with the remainder ending up in Sibneft’s hands. John Mann, a Sibneft spokesman, said: “Everything that Sibneft has done related to Sibneft-Yugra has been within the framework of a set of agreements between our shareholders and their shareholders.”