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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

6 Months Later, Prokhorov Looks to Return to Norilsk

Mikhail Prokhorov, who is struggling to agree on a division of assets with business partner Vladimir Potanin, plans to rejoin the board of mining giant Norilsk Nickel six months after he quit.

Prokhorov also nominated four people from his company Onexim Group for the board. Potanin nominated four people from his Interros Holding and did not put himself forward. The board met Thursday to review the nominations, Norilsk, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer, said Friday in an e-mailed statement.

"Prokhorov will likely re-enter the board," said Vladimir Zhukov, an analyst with Alfa Bank. "With his 28 percent to 29 percent stake in Norilsk, he can have three or four directors on the board."

The two men have disagreed on how to split their holdings, which include Norilsk as well as Polyus Gold, Vedomosti reported Friday. A division proposed by Prokhorov may incur $1.3 billion in taxes, Vedomosti said.

Prokhorov stepped down as Norilsk's CEO in March as part of a plan for he and Potanin to split their assets. His strategy has since changed, and he has raised his shareholding in Norilsk to as much as 29 percent, Kommersant reported. Prokhorov also increased his stake in Polyus, the country's biggest gold miner, to more than 25 percent, Vedomosti said.

"Prokhorov is inclined to sell his stake in Polyus," Zhukov said. "He might have the same plan in mind for Norilsk."

Fifteen candidates have been shortlisted for the nine-seat board, including current members. Shareholders will meet to elect the board Oct. 12.

n Polyus said Friday that managers had exercised options to buy almost 4.6 million shares, at a cost to the company of as much as $140 million.

The options were exercised at $14, the company said. The shares closed at 1,067.60 rubles ($42.11) on Friday.