The shareholder conflict at the Petropavlovsk gold mining company appears to be nearing an end. Its shareholders today voted to return founder Pavel Maslovsky to the board of directors. This was insisted upon by the company’s employees.
The company’s founder Pavel Maslovsky will return to the company’s Board of Directors, according to preliminary results of the vote by Petropavlovsk’s shareholders published on the London Stock Exchange’s website. Robert Jenkins and Roderick Lyne will join the board. At the same time, the company’s CEO Roman Deniskin will not be reappointed, as will Adrian Coates, Bruce Buck, Garrett Soden and Ian Ashby.
The Petropavlovsk annual shareholders meeting was held this afternoon in London. The final results will be announced shortly, the statement said. Following the news of the preliminary results of the voting, the company’s shares started going up in price. By 17:30 Moscow time their price went up by 1.62% on the London Stock Exchange, while the company capitalization amounted to £265 million.
The group of companies was founded in 1994 in the Amur region by Pavel Maslovsky and Peter Hambro. Until 2002 it was called Peter Hambro Mining. Its main activity is gold mining mainly in the Amur region. The headquarters is in London.
In early June, Pavel Maslovsky confirmed to Forbes his readiness to return to operational management and to head the gold miner. This decision by the ex-senator from the Amur Region followed an open letter from Petropavlovsk’s employees, which they sent to the board of directors. Along with this letter, they demanded to return the former independent directors Robert Jenkins and Roderick Lyne. A month earlier, Petropavlovsk minority shareholders CABS Platform and Slevin (who own 9.11% of the company) demanded the same.
Maslovsky left the company amid a conflict with Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova Group #22 in mid-2017. Shortly before him, Peter Hambro also left the company. At the same time, the former CEO emphasized that he would keep his stake, which was estimated at 5.81%. “Renova has been a major shareholder of the gold miner since November 2015. By June 2017, together with investment funds Sothic Capital European Opportunities Master Fund Limited and M&G Debt Opportunities Fund II, which acted in the interests of Renova, its structure Renova Asset Holding consolidated about 47% of Petropavlovsk. This allowed for a “covert takeover” of the company, as Peter Hambro put it, when Renova managed to put its representatives on the board of directors.
A few months later, in December 2017, Vekselberg sold his stake to Fincraft holding of Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev, failing to implement plans to merge with other major gold miners. In particular, they could be Renova-controlled Kamchatka Gold or, for example, Amur Gold by Musa Bazhaev #156 or Highlang Gold by Roman Abramovich #17 and partners.
Whose interests are represented by CABS Platform and Slevin is unknown – their beneficiaries are not disclosed. But the block of shares belonging to them corresponds to the one that was on the balance sheet of Asia-Pacific Bank on December 31, 2017 (Maslovsky, Hambro and banker Andrey Vdovin were co-owners through VMHY Holding). The stake was actually pledged to the bank, and Vailaski Holding, which represented the interests of Maslovsky, Khambro and Vdovin, had an option to buy it out. But this option was never exercised, Kommersant’s sources said, and the stake was sold “at the market. Earlier, Maslovsky and Vdovin also told Forbes that they did not know who was behind these offshore companies.