Government Gets Apatit Stake Back

The government regained a stake in Apatit, the phosphate miner formerly controlled by jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, after a court overturned the company's 1990s privatization, PhosAgro Group, Apatit's parent company, said in a regulatory filing.

The Federal Property Management Agency took control last week of 27 percent of Apatit following a December ruling by a Moscow court that PhosAgro may appeal, CEO Maxim Volkov said, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Acron and Norway's Yara International share a 10 percent stake in Apatit, which is based in the Murmansk region. During a visit to the company's Veliky Novgorod plant last month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised Acron owner Vyacheslav Kantor for not cutting jobs during the economic turmoil.

Putin was president when Khodorkovsky was arrested and convicted of fraud and tax evasion and sentenced in 2005 to eight years in prison. The case against Khodorkovsky and his Menatep Group began with an investigation into how Apatit was acquired in the 1990s.