The sale of a 20% stake in Canada-based parts maker and vehicle assembler Magna International to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Russian Machines for $US1.5bn “will accelerate Magna’s efforts to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities in the Russian automotive market and other emerging markets”, Magna CFO Vince Galifi said on Wednesday (29 August).

“Aligning with a strong and well-established industrial partner in Russia allows Magna to take advantage of these growth opportunities while minimising the risks of investing in start-up operations,” Galifi said in a statement emailed to just-auto.

On Tuesday, Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper said the deal had faced opposition as holders of about 8m shares of Magna class A stock, equivalent to about 8% of the total, said they had voted against the deal, even after Magna tried to win them over in a series of meetings.

The paper added that more shareholders “gave signals of dissent behind the scenes”, bringing the total closer to the roughly 50m needed to vote down the deal when final results are tallied.

Magna spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst yesterday told the Globe and Mail the company would likely announce the breakdown of the vote tomorrow, when the company would ask an Ontario [province] superior court judge to approve the plan to sell the stake to Deripaska.