Potanin, Prokhorov Decide Not to Liquidate KM-Invest

Billionaires Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov agreed Thursday not to liquidate the KM-Invest firm managing their joint assets, the company said in a statement.

A Russian arbitration court earlier blocked the sale of the assets managed by KM-Invest, including 2 percent in metals giant Norilsk Nickel and 7.4 percent in the country's top gold producer Polyus Gold, at Prokhorov's request.

Potanin and Prokhorov had been in a complex process of dividing their jointly owned assets, and their decision not to liquidate the asset management firm may indicate they have reached some kind of agreement.

KM-Invest gave no details of the agreement, adding that "the company's shareholders also agreed on a unified approach on voting with packages of Polyus Gold and Norilsk Nickel shares at emergency shareholders' meetings."

Polyus Gold and Norilsk Nickel are due to hold their emergency shareholders' meetings on April 7 and April 8 respectively. Electing their new board members is on the agenda.

On Thursday, KM-Invest's board voted to accept the resignation of the company's director general Rafael Akopov and appoint Andrei Klishas as its new head, Potanin's investment firm Interros said in a separate statement.

Prior to his appointment, Klishas was Interros general director, and after he received the new job at KM-Invest, Potanin took the post he had vacated, the statement said.

Prokhorov had been offering to buy Potanin's stakes in companies owned by KM-Invest, or to sell him his own on unspecified conditions, after KM-Invest's board approved the sale of the stakes in Polyus and Norilsk.

As Prokhorov's offer was not accepted, he demanded a liquidation of KM-Invest.