1 Apr 2022 14:24

Robert Castaigne leaving Novatek board, Alexei Orel nominated to take his place

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - Alexei Orel has been nominated for Novatek's board of directors to take the place of Robert Castaigne, according to a draft resolution for Novatek's upcoming annual general shareholders' meeting.

Novatek's board confirmed a list of candidates on March 11 for election at the annual meeting, including Castaigne.

It later emerged that Gennady Timchenko, who has fallen under U.S., EU, UK, and Japanese sanctions, had left the board.

Nine candidates have thus been nominated for nine spots on the board of directors. Gazprom Capital nominated Gazprombank head Andrei Akimov, and two representatives of France's TotalEnergies , Arnaud Le Foll and Dominique Marion, have also been nominated for the board.

Novatek shareholder OOO Levit, owned by Leonid Mikhelson and Leonid Simanovsky, has nominated Irina Gayda, the director of Skolkovo Energy Center, Tatyana Mitrova, the director of the Energy Center of Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, Emmanuel Quidet, the president of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where Timchenko heads the business council, and Mikhelson.

Alexander Natalenko was nominated by SWGI Growth Fund (Cyprus) Limited.

Novatek's board nominated Orel, but he has not been recognized as meeting the criteria for independence, while Gayda, Mitrova, and Quidet have.

Castaigne, a knight in France's National Order of the Legion of Honor, was Novatek's independent director, as well as a member of the board of France's Vinci.

Volga Group, through which Timchenko owns 23.5% of Novatek, did not formally nominate a candidate. It noted that the businessman has not sold his stake.

There are also plans to elect Mikhelson chairman of the management board for five years starting May 25, 2022 at the annual shareholders' meeting.

Orel worked at the Russian Natural Resources Ministry from 1999 to March 28, 2022 and was the director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation in Geology and Subsoil Use when he left.

According to the latest published information, Mikhelson is Novatek's largest shareholder with a share of 24.76%, followed by Timchenko with 23.49%, TotalEnergies with 19.4%, and Gazprom with 9.99%, while less than 20% of shares circulate abroad.