Russian mining giant Nornickel is planning to raise the equity holdings of individuals, including its employees, to 25% of the company from the current 10%, the company’s largest shareholder –and Russia’s richest man, as per Bloomberg Billionaires Index– Vladimir Potanin, said on Saturday.
“When Norilsk Nickel was privatized, about 25% of shares were owned by employees… I would like to restore some historical justice and make sure that 25% of Nornickel’s shares are returned to the people, including employees.
Part of that will be by endowing our employees with Norilsk Nickel shares in digital form. Part of it will be to support the trend in the market so that people buy them, so that they will be more affordable,” he said, in an interview with news outlet RBC.
Nornickel is the world’s largest palladium and refined nickel producer, currently employing some 80,000 people. Potanin said the equity change would be included in the company’s ten-year corporate program, dubbed “Digital Investor,” which kicks off in 2023. The terms under which Nornickel’s employees will be able to receive shares under the program are currently being finalized.
Potanin’s holding, Interros, owns 36% of Nornickel. Earlier this week, he announced that Interros would transfer up to 50% of its Rosbank shares to his charitable foundation and up to 10% to a motivation program for the bank’s employees. Interros said then that the mission of the holding was “people’s capitalism” aiming to turn the companies’ employees into their beneficiaries, which, according to Potanin, will also be the goal of the change in Nornickel.
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