Norilsk Nickel to elect new board at AGM on Tuesday

Russia’s largest nickel maker Norilsk Nickel will elect a new board of directors at an annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

The previous AGM in 2010 led to a an intensification of the protracted struggle for control of Norilsk Nickel between two major shareholders, Russian aluminum giant RusAl controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, and Interros, the investment arm of another Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin.

RusAl claims the Norilsk board became dominated by managers linked to Interros after the AGM last summer, where RusAl lost one board seat, while Interros increased its representation.

Interros tried to resolve the conflict by buying RusAl’s 25 percent stake in Norilsk for $12 billion, and subsequently 20 percent of its shares for $12.8 billion but the aluminum company rejected both offers.

At a recent extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, Interros gained four seats on the Norilsk board, while RusAl and Norilsk‚Äôs management, regarded as being close to Interros, got two seats each. RusAl’s nominee chairs the board.
Uralsib analyst Dmitry Smolin told RIA Novosti he expected no surprises from the meeting.

“I think there will be no surprises at the meeting, and the board of directors and its chairman will be the same, while (Norilsk) management and Interros will maintain control of the board,” Smolin said.

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