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Oleg Deripaska ally exits EN+ as US sanctions loom

The president of embattled EN+ has stepped down in a bid to ease the brunt of US sanctions on the Siberian power and aluminium group, which joined the London market late last year.
EN+ has accepted the board room resignation of Maxim Sokov, an executive director and long-standing associate of majority owner Oleg Deripaska, effective from June 1.
Mr Sokov said he had taken the decision to step down “for the sake of the future prosperity” of the group, which is facing “unprecedented and unforeseen challenges”.
En+ has hired investment bank Rothschild to sell off part of Mr Deripaska’s two-thirds stake in the group within the coming weeks after the US named the oligarch on its sanctions blacklist.
The group is in a race to cut Mr Deripaska’s stake from 66pc to less than 50pc, as it faces being barred from trading in US dollars, effectively severing it from the global financial system.
Late on Monday, the US Treasury Department said investors would have until October 23 to divest of their positions in both EN+ Group and its subsidiary EuroSibEnergo, extending an earlier deadline. 
The US crackdown on a string of high-profile Russian companies and businessmen has already pushed Mr Deripaska to quit the boards of EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal in a bid to free the companies from crippling sanctions.
Oleg Deripaska ally exits EN+ as US sanctions loom

Oleg Deripaska (right) was hit by US sanctions due to his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin

Credit:
Mikhail Klimentyev/AP
The company hopes that by reducing Mr Deripaska’s ownership to a minority stake it may win a waiver that allows it to keep doing business.
The latest move is part of a boardroom shake-up spearheaded by its chairman Lord Barker of Battle who intends to build a board comprised of a majority of new independent directors.
Lord Barker said the recruitment process for a new board of non-executive directors was well under way.
“I expect to be able to confirm the proposed candidates that we will be submitting to OFAC [The US Office of Foreign Assets Control] soon,” he said.
Mr Sokov said: “I wish the En+ the very best and look forward to seeing the continued growth of the company.”
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