15 Jun 2010 14:13

Prosperity nominates Branis for Comstar board

MOSCOW. June 15 (Interfax) - The board of directors of Comstar-UTS has approved the list of 17 candidates for the new board of directors to be elected at the AGM.

The list includes Alexander Branis, the director of Prosperity Capital Management Ltd.

Prosperity Capital Management has consolidated a 2.27% stake in Comstar, the telecommunications company reported. It did not know if Prosperity acquired the shares in its own interest or on behalf of other investors. Under Russian law, shareholders with at least 2% of shares in a company may make nominations to the board of directors.

Russian "big three" mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) , a subsidiary of AFK Sistema , purchased 50.91% of Comstar shares from the parent company last October for $1.272 billion. MTS boosted its stake to 61.97% in late December.

Last fall Sistema's chief beneficiary, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, told Interfax that MTS would make an offer to acquire Comstar shares from minority shareholders even though it is not legally required to, since the ultimate owner of the company - Sistema - did not change when the controlling stake was sold.

So far the date for the offer has not been set. Among other things, that will depend on the asset swap between Sistema and state-owned telecommunications holding Svyazinvest, which should see Sistema receive a blocking stake in Moscow City Telephone Network, a company controlled by Comstar.

MTS President and CEO Mikhail Shamolin previously said the company might use its shares to exchange for Comstar shares held by minority shareholders.

The list of candidates for the Comstar board includes all 11 current members: Shamolin; Comstar President Sergei Pridantsev; Mikhail Gerchuk, vice president and chief commercial officer; Ulf Backmeyer, director for controlling; Ruslan Ibragimov, director for corporate and legal matters; Konstantin Markov, director of "Moscow" macro-region; Evgeny Olkhovsky, director of planning and liaison department; Victor Stankevich, head of procurement compliance; Michael Hecker, vice president for strategy and corporate development; Yngve Redling, chairman of the bilateral IT working group between Sweden and Russia; and Thomas Holtrop.

MTS nominated five other company officials for the Comstar board: Ilya Kolesnikov and Yury Sengleev of the risk management department; Yana Mazurova, director of marketing; commercial controlling director Vyacheslav Nikolaev; and Vladimir Khrenkov, head of the broadband development and fixed-line business.