$1.5 Billion I.P.O. for Firm Controlled by Putin Ally Tied to Manafort
The sanctions prohibit Western companies from extending new long-term credit lines to VTB and other Russian banks, but allow loan repayments.
EN+ itself has links to the scandal over Russian interference in the United States presidential election. The company is controlled by the Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, a confidant of the Russian president who once had close ties to Paul J. Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager who was charged this week with money laundering as part of the special counsel inquiry into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mr. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Deripaska, an orphan from a small village in southern Russia, muscled his way into the aluminum business in Siberia in the 1990s. At the time, the industry was in bloody turmoil as organized crime figures and venal local officials fought in what became known as the Aluminum Wars.
Despite his humble background, Mr. Deripaska is closely entwined with the Moscow elite. As an example of his proximity to power, analysts of the oligarchy have pointed out that he is married to the step-granddaughter of the late former Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin; Mr. Deripaska has played down the tie as irrelevant to his business activities.
Mr. Deripaska was never charged with a crime in Russia over the Aluminum Wars, but the United States has for years denied him a visa, suggesting something unseemly in his ascent in the Siberian aluminum industry. It was in an effort to solve this earlier problem in Washington that a decade ago he reached out to a business partner of Mr. Manafort, Rick Davis, for lobbying.
Mr. Manafort and Mr. Deripaska set up an investment company to buy television stations in Ukraine that eventually unraveled in a $19 million lawsuit filed by Mr. Deripaska in the Cayman Islands, court records show. But now, those decade-old ties to Mr. Manafort have become a focus of attention in the Trump-Russia investigation.
During the presidential campaign last year, Mr. Manafort had asked, through an intermediary, whether Mr. Deripaska might resolve a financial dispute in exchange for “private briefings” about the Republican Party presidential campaign, The Washington Post has reported, citing email exchanges. Mr. Deripaska dismissed the emails as just scheming by “beltway bandits,” the Post reported.