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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Marc Rich Calls Off Crown Deal

ZUG, Switzerland — Russian-owned energy-trading group Crown Resources said Monday that it regretted failing to buy the Swiss-based commodities operation of former U.S. fugitive financier Marc Rich.

"We were disappointed that … it has not been possible to agree on further steps," said Crown CEO Elliot Spitz.

"At the beginning of the process of acquisition of Marc Rich Investment the basic intentions were clear and a financial and commercial agreement in principle was reached," Spitz said. He gave no more details, but said further clarification is "expected in the coming days."

Marc Rich & Co. Holding GmbH said Friday that it was breaking off talks with Crown over the sale of Marc Rich Investment, citing a "lack of agreement on key points." It gave no further explanation for the failure of the deal.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the deal stumbled on a quarrel over price.

Under the proposed deal, announced in February, Rich's holding company would have retained an interest in the newly enlarged commodity business. Crown had been expected to eventually buy out that interest.

Crown is owned by Alfa Group, a powerful banking and industrial conglomerate.

Crown sells Russian oil for Tyumen Oil Co., Alfa's oil subsidiary. It also has tight links to other Alfa companies operating within Russia and beyond.

Marc Rich Investment had a turnover of $7.5 billion last year and employs 300 people.