MMC Norilsk Nickel has taken the first steps towards creating the largest Russian privately owned energy holding company.

MMC plans to achieve this feat by spinning off its current energy assets and then adding to the new entity with a series of planned asset purchases.

The company currently owns stakes in a number of large energy generating and distributing companies, with market value exceeding $2.5 billion. The stakes were originally acquired to ensure security of energy supply for MMC’s core metal processing operations.

However, MMC, an enterprise engaged in mining and metal production, regards them as non-core assets, so they are being reformulated into a separate outfit, which will benefit MMC shareholders more than the assets would as part of the main business.

The spin-off of energy assets into a new stand-alone company will increase the income of MMC Norilsk Nickel shareholders, said Mikhail Prokhorov, general director of the company.