(From The Moscow Times)
They came with a much-needed cash infusion and an in-kind contribution, offering an ailing company hope for the future. They navigated the bureaucratic jungle and now have a prized asset in the bag.
The elusive foreign investor in Russia? No. Norilsk Nickel's multimillion dollar purchase of Montana-based Stillwater -- cleared this week by shareholders and regulators in both countries -- which marks the single largest cross-border acquisition of a public company by a Russian company as well as a new phase of economic internationalization.
Cash-rich Russian companies, many of whom are finding fewer options in their industries at home, are now actively searching abroad for assets. Over the past three years, Russian companies have expanded beyond the border into former Soviet republics and Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, and even the West.
The move also highlights a difference between pre-crash Russia and today's Russia, in which the financial-industrial tycoons have transformed cash-cow subsidiaries into transparent, streamlined industry leaders that extol improved corporate governance and value creation.
"Years ago people were asking if there would ever be a Russian company on the New York Stock Exchange, and now we have several," said Leonid Rozhetskin, deputy chairman of Norilsk's management board. "Today we can talk about subsidiaries of Russian companies on the NYSE."
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