Seizure of RusAl Assets Allowed

D/S Norden, Europe's largest commodities shipping line, got a U.S. judge's order to seize as much as $98.3 million of assets from a unit of Oleg Deripaska's United Company RusAl as part of a shipping dispute.

The order was granted by a federal judge in New York, according to a Feb. 11 filing, and allows the seizure of cash, ship-rental income, wire transfers, electronic transfers and other assets belonging to RusAl Trading International.

The seizure relates to "a number" of shipping contracts, Carsten Mortensen, chief executive officer of Norden, said by phone from Copenhagen on Feb. 13.

Norden transports bauxite, used to make aluminum, for RusAl, RusAl said last week. The two sides had reviewed their accord after RusAl changed its output and some "basic agreements" were reached, the company said. Norden's claims are "groundless" and RusAl will appeal the court's decision, it said.

RusAl is cutting output and suspending investments after prices plunged. The company's debt owed to banks, the government and shareholder Mikhail Prokhorov swelled to $16.3 billion this year, chairman Viktor Vekselberg said in an interview last month.