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SBD Global/April 29, 2013/Olympics

Russian Businessmen Tap Mining Company To Help Complete Sochi Construction

Two Russian tycoons will tap the "prodigious cash flows of the country's largest mining company to help complete their construction projects for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi," whose budget has spiraled to a record $50B, according to Polina Devitt of REUTERS. Mining company Norilsk Nickel will put money into a ski resort and the Olympic village being built by its billionaire backers, Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska, "in return for stakes in the two projects." A source at Interros, the firm that manages Potanin's financial interests, said, "As a result of a number of technical operations Norilsk would make a commitment to contribute as a Sochi co-investor." President Vladimir Putin has turned to some of Russia's richest men to help give a makeover to the sub-tropical Black Sea resort of Sochi and the nearby mountains in its Krasnaya Polyana section for the 2014 Winter Games. But Potanin, architect of Russia's '90s privatizations "in which he first acquired an interest in Norilsk, and Deripaska, main shareholder in aluminum major RUSAL, had balked at the spiraling costs of the event" (REUTERS, 4/28).
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