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RIA Novosti

Russia

Norilsk Nickel former chief demands early board election

15:53 06/08/2007
MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Mikhail Prokhorov, one of the two key shareholders of Norilsk Nickel, has called for the early election of a new board of directors, the Russian metals giant said in a statement.

Prokhorov, who owns more than 10% of the Company's allocated voting stock, demanded on August 6 to convene an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to discuss the early termination of the board's powers and the election of a new Norilsk Nickel board, the statement said.

The board of directors will consider Prokhorov's proposal on August 9, the statement said.

Prokhorov, ranked Russia's 10th richest man by Forbes, resigned in March from the posts of general director and president of Norilsk Nickel.

On May 31, Prokhorov announced the launch of a $17-billion private investment fund, Onexim Group, intended to focus on innovation projects in traditional and hydrogen-based energy, nanotechnology and the mining and metals industries. The former director general also said the process of dividing assets with Vladimir Potanin, the co-owner of Interros, the managing company for Norilsk Nickel, would be completed by the end of 2007.

The new fund was set up using Prokhorov's stake in Norilsk Nickel (22%), holding company Interros (50%) and gold producer Polyus Zoloto (22%).

In late June, Norilsk Nickel shareholders elected at their annual meeting a new board of directors. Denis Morozov, the metals giant's new general director, was elected to the board of directors in place of Prokhorov.

Norilsk Nickel is one of the world's largest precious and non-ferrous metal producers, accounting for more than 20% of the world's nickel output, and over 10% of cobalt and 3% of copper. The company produces 96% of Russia's nickel, 55% of its copper and 95% of its cobalt.

In 2006, Norilsk Nickel produced 3.164 million ounces (98.4 metric tons) of palladium, compared to 3.133 million ounces (97.4 metric tons) in 2005, and 752,000 ounces (23.4 metric tons) of platinum, compared with 751,000 ounces (21.29 metric tons) in 2005.

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