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Report: Some US banks hesitant to work with En+ on US$1B share sale

Russia's En+ Group plc tapped foreign banks for the sale of US$1 billion of shares in the company, Reuters reported Feb. 14, citing sources.

The company manages the metals and energy assets of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, who was included in a U.S. Department of the Treasury list of Russian oligarchs it considered close to the Kremlin.

The department, however, stressed that the inclusion of individuals and entities did not necessarily mean they would be sanctioned.

Some U.S. banks that worked with En+ on its IPO in November 2017 are reluctant to participate in the share sale due to the inclusion.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi and JP Morgan, along with Swiss bank Credit Suisse and Russian banks Sberbank and VTB Capital led the company's IPO.

One of the banking sources said there was no indication that the share sale would attract U.S. fines but compliance departments were concerned about any risk of reputational harm.

"Banks don't want headlines. Client selection is a massive issue," the source said.

Deripaska and family members hold a 76.6% interest in En+, which owns over a 48% controlling stake in Russian aluminum producer United Co. Rusal Plc.

A representative for En+ declined to comment, while a Deripaska spokeswoman said "[w]e do not comment on market rumors."