At the August 31 meeting, Prime Minister [Vladimir Putin] said that VEB was able to make money on the acquisition of Norilsk Nickel stock during the crisis, [Vladimir Potanin] said. And, “the funds VEB put into the RusAl IPO so far have brought losses of more than 30%,” he said. “Norilsk Nickel is demonstrating steady growth, but RusAl has to show how they can climb out of 30% losses from that IPO. God help them. It will be interesting to me to see how that goes,” he said.
Concerning the conflict with Interros, [Deripaska] said: “We haven’t had a fight. The company owns wonderful assets, the market situation makes it possible for the company to grow. All that’s needed is a strategy.” But he said it was “strange to hear” about plans for growing the company, when “two months ago the man who is in charge of Norilsk Nickel’s operations and my former deputy, hadn’t seen the plan.”
“The company needs to have a serious attitude. It could double its value in the next three years, but that would take competent management,” Deripaska said. Deripaska pointed to the purchase of major overseas assets as one of the shortcomings of Norilsk’s management. “Major Western assets were purchased at a cost of $6 billion. Loans were raised. And now they’ve been thrown on the trash heap,” he said.