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Orrick Records Victory for Rusnano in Northern District of California

Orrick Records Victory for Rusnano in Northern District of California

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Orrick is reporting that, on July 18, 2017, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California dismissed, with prejudice, plaintiffs’ claims against JSC Rusnano and other defendants in a case challenging Rusnano's acquisition of the Nitol plant in the Irkutsk Region of Russia. Orrick represented JSC Rusnano and nine other corporate and individual defendants in the case.

Rusnano — formerly the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies — is a government-owned joint-stock company established as a USD 10 billion private equity and venture capital evergreen fund by the government of Russia that is aimed at commercializing developments in nanotechnology.

The dispute involved the Nitol plant, which manufactures polysilicon, a material used in solar panels.  In 2009 Rusnano, along with another lender, extended a loan to one of the companies in the Nitol group, secured by a pledge of shares of a company within the group. In 2011, Rusnano enforced the pledge and thereby acquired indirect ownership in the plant.

In 2015, plaintiffs Neas Limited and Andrey Tretyakov, indirect minority shareholders in the Nitol group of companies, brought a lawsuit in the Northern District of California challenging the enforcement of the pledge, which they described as a “takeover,” and the resulting acquisition by Rusnano of ownership of the plant.

After two years of litigation, according to Orrick, plaintiffs consented to the dismissal of the case, admitting, in a formal document submitted to and approved by the Court, that “following review by Plaintiffs and their counsel of laws governing the claims asserted in this action as well as all available evidence, including those materials obtained in discovery and all Defendants’ pending Motions to Dismiss, Plaintiffs have determined that there is no meaningful chance of establishing personal jurisdiction over any of the Foreign Defendants or securing a monetary recovery in this action if personal jurisdiction could be established.”

According to Orrick Partner Robert Sills, "the Court dismissed the case with prejudice against all former and present defendants, preventing future litigation on this matter." In addition to Sills, the Orrick team included Partners Karen Johnson-McKewan and Olga Sirodoeva, along with Senior Associates Igor Margulyan and Konstantin Kasyan and Special Legal Consultant Mikhail Usubyan.

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