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Petropavlovsk boss quit after board minutes were changed

The former boss of gold miner Petropavlovsk quit because company directors - including Chelsea Football Club chairman Bruce Buck - altered the minutes of a board meeting to remove extensive discussion of a refinancing deal and failed to act on its urgency.
Pavel Maslovskiy was strongly criticised by the Petropavlovsk board earlier this month for leaving abruptly without a succession plan last year. But it has emerged that he felt his position was untenable after directors at the Russia-based miner changed the draft minutes from a board meeting held on June 22.
This was the same day as the company’s annual general meeting, when a raft of new directors were elected in a boardroom coup.
Dr Maslovskiy and the company’s former chief financial officer Andrey Maruta told the new board of the need to embark on an urgent bond reissue to shore up the company’s financial position.
But the final version of the board minutes removed detailed notes on the topic and the matter was effectively put on hold.
It is understood the change was requested by Mr Buck, who was nominated to the board last year by Renova, a vehicle controlled by Russian magnate Viktor Vekselberg, then Petropavlovsk’s biggest shareholder.
Dr Maslovskiy resigned the following month, telling the board he had “no faith my views will be listened to or noted” as the minutes had been altered and his plea to embark on an immediate refinancing was ignored.
Petropavlovsk boss quit after board minutes were changed

Petropavlovsk has three operating mines in Russia
Mr Maruta left at the start of this year, citing a desire to move on after 14 years at the company. The miner remains without a permanent finance boss.
Petropavlovsk subsequently embarked on the bond reissue but Dr Maslovskiy claimed earlier this month that the refinancing was secured on worse terms because of the delay.
Sources close to the company dismissed the claims, insisting it had negotiated a lower upfront fee on the refinancing.
A Petropavlovsk spokesman said: “The board meeting on June 22, 2017 took place 30 minutes after the new directors took office. At that meeting, the CEO proposed an up to $500m bond issue, and his comments were taken seriously.”
The board agreed to engage in a “fulsome study” of the pros and cons of issuing the bond, but decided not to proceed at that time, he added.
Petropavlovsk boss quit after board minutes were changed

“The bond issue proposal was minuted at the board meeting on 22 June 2017, and the minutes, which by their nature change between being drafted and finalised, were discussed and approved at the next board meeting, in the absence of Mr Maslovskiy because he resigned abruptly that morning without thought to succession planning.” 
The miner is currently the subject of a power struggle after a pair of investors holding 9.1pc of the company called for the reinstatement of Dr Maslovskiy and two other former directors and the ousting of the current board at this year’s AGM on June 29.
Petropavlovsk has accused the rebel shareholders of failing to disclose their full identities and has urged shareholders to vote against the move.
In its notice to shareholders ahead of the AGM, the board attacked Dr Maslovskiy’s record and accused him of creating a “prolonged period of uncertainty” with his sudden resignation.
Earlier this week Sothic Capital, the company’s second biggest investor, called on fellow shareholders to back the current board, arguing that the move against them, by CABS Platform and Slevin, was “contrary to good corporate governance”.
The board, led by former BHP Billiton executive Ian Ashby, was installed by Sothic, M&G and Renova last year. Both M&G and Renova have since sold out of the company.
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