18 Nov 2010 13:58

VEB may get seat on Svyazinvest board

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - The Russian Communications and Mass Media Ministry has sent a list of seven proposed candidates for the Svyazinvest board of directors to state property agency Rosimushchestvo, which owns 75% minus one share in the company, the ministry told Interfax.

The list includes four incumbents: Communications and Mass Media Minister Igor Shchegolev, VTB Capital managing director Mikhail Butrin, UBS Bank board member Marlen Manasov and Higher School of Economics professor Ivan Rodionov.

The list does not include three other incumbents: Konstantin Malofeev, managing partner at Marshall Capital Partners; former presidential advisor Leonid Reiman; or MDM Bank managing director Nikita Ryauzov.

Instead, the ministry has proposed VEB Capital general director Yury Kudimov, Svyazinvest chief Vadim Semyonov and Renaissance Capital President Alexander Pertsovsky.

VEB owns and manages 39.8% of shares in national long distance operator Rostelecom , Svyazinvest's biggest subsidiary, and the company that Svyazinvest's interregional operators will be merged into. VEB has not previously held a seat on the Svyazinvest board.

A new board must be elected after Svyazinvest CEO Yevgeny Yurchenko resigned in September, having accused Malofeev and other former Marshall Capital employees of trying to take over. Rostelecom Vice President Semyonov was named to replace Yurchenko at a shareholders' meeting on October 1.

In addition, board member Yury Kornev, deputy director of the Federal Protective Service (FSO), died in September, while Reiman stepped down from his post as presidential advisor.

Two other seats on the nine-member board of directors are held by the owner of 25% plus one share. That stake had been owned by Comstar-UTS, whose representatives on the board were Yurchenko and Kornev. However, Rostelecom closed purchase of the Svyazinvest stake in October. Alexander Provotorov will be one of Rostelecom's candidates for the Svyazinvest board, a source close to the company told Interfax previously.

On October 15 the Svyazinvest board approved calling an extraordinary shareholders meeting, but it has still not set a date for the ESM. It was scheduled to do so at a November 15 board meeting that was postponed because the government had not provided a directive for the state representatives.

Svyazinvest holds controlling stakes in Rostelecom and regional telecoms CenterTelecom , North-West Telecom , VolgaTelecom , Southern Telecom , Uralsvyazinform , Sibirtelecom and Dalsvyaz , as well as in Central Telegraph , Giprosvyaz and Dagsvyazinform.

Svyazinvest is currently undergoing a reorganization that will see the interregional telecom companies merged into Rostelecom by means of a share conversion. The reorganization is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2011.