Vekselberg pays compensation to Swiss for suspected breach
Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg and his associates have paid 10 million Swiss francs to settle a dispute over their purchase of a stake in industrial group Sulzer, Swiss authorities said Monday.
"Legal Services in the Federal Department of Finance has concluded its investigation into the Sulzer AG affair concerning the suspected breach of disclosure obligations under stock exchange law," said the finance ministry in a statement.
"Proceedings against Ronny Pecik, Georg Stumpf and Victor Vekselberg were dropped after the suspects paid compensation totalling 10 million francs (1.04 million dollars, 746 million euros)," it added.
The ministry said that by paying this fine, the three investors "have made amends for any wrongdoing regarding the building and disclosure of their stake in Sulzer AG between December 2006 and April 2007."
Renova, an investment group owned by Vekselberg, said in a statement that the billionaire had acted lawfully in the case.
"The closure of the investigation confirms the position of Dr Vekselberg and Renova Group that they acted lawfully and made every effort to comply with all laws and regulations, in particular stock exchange disclosure rules," it said.
In September, the three investors had been cleared by a Swiss court of a record fine imposed by Berne for allegedly flouting disclosure rules in the purchase of another company OC Oerlikon.
The court had thrown out the Swiss authorities' case against the three investors then, saying it was "without proof."
© 2010 AFP