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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Court Rejects Challenge to Norilsk Restructure

A Moscow court has rejected a lawsuit against Norilsk Nickel challenging its purchase of a metal trading firm which could have derailed Norilsk's restructuring plans, Interfax reported Friday.

The Federal Securities Commission, the market watchdog that filed the suit, will appeal against the ruling by the Moscow Arbitration Court, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

Norilsk said it was confident the appeal would not be successful. "We're absolutely sure of the legal rectitude of this course of action, we're sure we'll win at the next stage too," spokesman Anatoly Komrakov said.

Norilsk is currently undergoing a complicated restructuring that will eventually see currently traded Norilsk Nickel shares swapped for shares in Mining and Metals Company (MMC) Norilsk Nickel, the holding's core production unit which accounts for up to 80 percent of the group's profits.

The Commission's lawsuit challenged Norilsk's purchase of metals trading company Norimet at an early stage of the restructuring, which was announced last September.

The Commission said the Norimet deal should have been approved by a general meeting of Norilsk shareholders, and a court ruling in its favor could mean that shares issued by Norilsk or its subsidiaries would have to be annulled.

Norilsk plans to complete the share swap at the end of June and expects the Commission to register the results of the swap in early July. Komrakov said the group was still working to that timetable.