RusAl Nominates Prokhorov

MTProkhorov, who has an interest in Norilsk through his 14 percent stake in RusAl, was nominated to lead the board.
United Company RusAl has nominated Onexim Group president Mikhail Prokhorov to the board of Norilsk Nickel, RusAl said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

Norilsk Nickel confirmed the information, saying it had accepted Prokhorov's candidacy in a list with the other RusAl candidates Wednesday. Prokhorov, a current Norilsk board member, has an interest in the company through his 14 percent stake in RusAl, which owns 25 percent plus two shares of Norilsk.

The announcement conflicted with Vladimir Potanin, Norilsk's chairman and a 30 percent shareholder, saying at a news conference Wednesday that neither he nor Prokhorov nor RusAl majority owner Oleg Deripaska would join the new Norilsk board.

"What Potanin said Wednesday had not been coordinated with us," a source in the Onexim Group said Friday. "According to the agreement that Prokhorov and Deripaska signed in April, when RusAl bought its 25 percent stake in Norilsk from Onexim, a representative from the group has to be nominated to the miner's board every time a new board is elected."

Potanin and Deripaska, who have been fighting for control over Norilsk since late last year, announced a truce last week, saying the financial crisis had brought them closer together.

Shareholders will vote Dec. 26 on members for the expanded, 13-member board. The current board is to agree on a list of candidates Monday.

Potanin's Interros refused to comment Friday. RusAl spokespeople were not available for comment.