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Fresh revolt at Petropavlovsk seeks to reinstate directors

The boardroom struggles at gold miner Petropavlovsk have taken another twist after two mystery investors demanded the resignation of the entire board and the reinstatement of three former directors.
Petropavlovsk, which has three gold mines in the far east of Russia, revealed that CABS Platform and Slevin – who hold 9.11pc of the company between them – will table motions at the forthcoming annual general meeting.
The investors want to bring back Pavel Maslovskiy, the company’s former chief executive and co-founder, and reinstate two other ex-directors: Sir Roderic Lyne, the UK’s former ambassador to Russia, and Robert Jenkins.
Gibraltar-registered CABS and British West Indies-based Slevin have built up their stakes in Petropavlovsk since March.
The gold miner said it was “taking advice in relation to the validity of the requisition” and recommended that shareholders take no action.
It is thought the new shareholders are “international activist investors” who spied an opportunity because Petropavlovsk’s shares were undervalued.
Fresh revolt at Petropavlovsk seeks to reinstate directors

Petropavlovsk was founded in 1994
The company was founded in 1994 by Dr Maslovskiy and Peter Hambro, who was ousted last summer by major shareholder Viktor Vekselberg and funds Sothic and M&G. The trio installed a number of new directors including current chairman Ian Ashby and Bruce Buck, the chairman of Chelsea Football Club.
Dr Maslovskiy resigned shortly after the boardroom coup and Mr Vekselberg subsequently sold his stake to Kazakh investor Kenes Rakishev, who now holds 22pc of the company
Mr Rakishev had lobbied for Dr Maslovskiy’s return but the board opted to appoint Roman Deniskin, who started last month.
Mr Rakishev’s support is thought to be crucial to the chances of the activists’ success. He declared their intervention a “surprise” and said he was “keen to find out more about the new shareholders and the proposed new board’s plans for the business”.
“When the time comes I will vote in the best interests of Petropavlovsk and all its shareholders," he added.
Mr Hambro, who retains a 0.5pc stake in the miner, said he was “delighted” that others had “concluded that the present board is not the right one to unlock the huge potential of the company of which I was chairman for 23 years”.
Fresh revolt at Petropavlovsk seeks to reinstate directors

Peter Hambro stepped down last summer after losing a vote at the AGM

Credit:
 Paul Grover
“I believe that it is good news for all shareholders, if they, in a general meeting, are allowed to vote for this change, which shows that my old friend and business partner, Pavel Maslovskiy has been selected by them to be the chief executive officer.
“I also believe that both Sir Roderic Lyne and Robert Jenkins gave excellent service to the company in the past and, in these rather tricky times in Russia’s relationship with the west, it would be reassuring to have our former ambassador as chairman.”
Petropavlovsk will hold its AGM by the end of June. The shares rose 1.5pc but are worth just 7p, well below their peak of 590p in 2006.
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