Metals magnate has been battling rival metals billionaire Vladimir Potanin over control of Norilsk Nickel, world's largest nickel producer. Last year his aluminum giant Rusal raised $2.2 billion in a Hong Kong IPO. Now reportedly planning to list the construction and automobile companies under the umbrella of his Basic Element empire. His car maker Gaz is planning a deal with Volkswagen to build VW and Skoda vehicles in the Volga region. His EuroSibEnergo power company formed a joint venture with China's Yangtze Power; the new outfit will supply electricity to parts of Siberia and, later, northern China. Back from brink during financial crisis: facing margin calls and $20 billion in debt, removed the heads of his two largest companies and personally negotiated with the Russian government, banks and other creditors to restructure loan obligations.
Deripaska got his start in the aluminum business, thriving in the Wild West days of 1990s post-Soviet capitalism. Since then, he has expanded his business empire into energy, agriculture and aviation.
He has also been a business associate of Paul Manafort’s, paying the U.S. political operative to serve as an investment consultant after Manafort began work as a consultant in Ukraine in 2005.
In 2014, Deripaska filed suit in the Cayman Islands, alleging that Manafort had disappeared after taking nearly $19 million intended for investments and failing to account for the funds.
It is not clear how that dispute was settled, but last year, while serving as Trump’s campaign chairman, Manafort wrote emails to a Russian former employee indicating he would be willing to conduct “private briefings” about the campaign for Deripaska. Manafort’s spokesman has said the emails were an innocuous effort to collect past debts, and Deripaska’s spokeswoman has said he never got the message and received no briefings. Deripaska has denied any involvement with the U.S. presidential election.