9 Dec 2010 15:53

Prokhorov to replace Ivanov as Polyus Gold CEO

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) - Mikhail Prokhorov, one of the core owners of Polyus Gold , will become the No. 1 Russian gold producer's chief executive officer, Polyus Gold said in a statement.

Prokhorov will replace Yevgeny Ivanov, who will be responsible for the Polyus group's international projects in the capacity of become chairman and CEO of KazakhGold.

Prokhorov was chairman of the board of directors at Polyus Gold. He will be replaced in that post by Ekaterina Salnikova, deputy CFO at Prokhorov's Onexim Group.

"The Company sees the development of its business in Russia and abroad as one of its most important short-term targets. Realization of the planned measures is aimed at ensuring the maximum growth of the Company's capitalization in the interests of all its shareholders. This task will demand mobilization of all resources of Polyus Group in close coordination of efforts with its shareholders. To ensure all opportunities are employed I made a decision to take the lead as Head of the Company. I am grateful to the Company's Board of Directors for support of my decision," Prokhorov was quoted a saying.

Prokhorov said in an interview with Bloomberg Television this week that Polyus Gold intends to merge with an international rival once it has obtained a London listing and become one of the world's top three gold miners. He said Polyus might obtain the listing next year - it would all depend how merger talks progress. Prokhorov himself will look to secure a minority stake that is large enough to influence the new company's strategy. He said a London listing might lift Polyus Gold's value 20%.

Prokhorov's Onexim owns or controls around 40%. Suleiman Kerimov's Nafta Moskva used to own 36.88% of Polyus Gold, however reports suggest Nafta may have sold 10% from its stake to Dmitry Rybolovlev.