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Deripaska, Potanin, Dauphin leave Norilsk board

Keywords: Tags  Oleg Deripaska, Claude Dauphin, Vladimir Potanin, Norilsk Nickel, Rusal, Interros, Roman Abramovich, Millhouse Capital

LONDON — United Co. Rusal chief executive officer Oleg Deripaska and Trafigura Beheer BV chairman Claude Dauphin left the Norilsk Nickel board of directors after shareholders voted for the early termination of the board’s powers at an extraordinary general meeting.

The meeting was held March 11 and neither of the men had been up for re-election to the board of the Russian nickel producer.

The chairman of the board is now Norilsk independent director Gareth Penny, while Potanin remains chairman of the company’s management board.

Aluminum producer Rusal, a 25-percent shareholder, retains four seats on the board, equal to the number held by CJSC Interros Holding Co., which owns 28 percent of the company.

Norilsk Nickel has entered a "time of peace," market participants said, since Rusal and Interros reached an agreement following a four-year feud over the management of the company.

Rusal is satisfied that its shareholder agreement has been met, a spokesman for the company told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

"Rusal notes that new Norilsk Nickel board composition meets the agreements reached. Rusal has four representatives on the Norilsk board which is equal with Interros," the spokesman said.

As part of a series of disputes starting in 2008, Rusal accused Norilsk and Interros of conspiring to cause disadvantage to Rusal, which also claimed it was underrepresented on the Norilsk board. Rusal vehemently and publicly criticized both Interros and Norilsk itself, attracting equal denigration from the latter.

In late November, it emerged that a shareholder agreement was being negotiated and was dependent on the departure of then chief executive office Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, to be replaced by Interros chairman Vladimir Potanin.

Media reports at the time said Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich was being urged by Deripaska to buy a 6.9-percent stake in Norilsk through his investment company Millhouse Capital. In December, it was confirmed that an agreement had been reached in which Potanin would take the helm and Abramovich would take a 7.3-percent stake.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Vladimir Potanin left MMC Norilsk Nickel’s board of directors in March. Potanin had actually left the board previously. 

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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