RusAl Asks For More State Spots

United Company RusAl said Wednesday that it wanted to see government representatives get four seats on the board of Norilsk Nickel.

RusAl, which holds 25 percent plus two shares of Norilsk, previously said it wanted one state representative on the miner's board and two government delegates in the company's management.

"It is a logical and necessary decision to strengthen the presence of the state in one of the largest Russian companies for the period while the government is providing active support to strategic industries," RusAl chairman Victor Vekselberg said in a statement Wednesday.

Norilsk shareholders will vote Dec. 26 on a new board, which will be extended to 13 members from the current nine.

RusAl also said it wanted the board to include three representatives of RusAl, three independent directors and three representatives of Interros, billionaire Vladimir Potanin's holding company.

RusAl has been critical of Potanin, who holds a stake of about 30 percent in Norilsk and chairs the company's board.

A RusAl spokeswoman said Wednesday that her company would vote for one government representative and suggest that Interros vote for another state official.

She said Norilsk should uses the shares that on its balance sheet to vote for the two other officials.

"RusAl doesn't have any concrete candidacies yet and is planning consultations with the government," the spokeswoman said. "We welcome Interros in the talks."

Norilsk Nickel declined to comment on RusAl's statement. A source in Interros said RusAl had not discussed the issue with his company.

RusAl said last week that it wanted one state representative to occupy a place on the Norilsk board and another two to have places in the company's management to "ensure the interests" of Vneshekonombank, after the lender took a stake in the miner as collateral for a $4.5 billion loan to RusAl.