Activist investor Everest Alliance has won a boardroom battle with FTSE 250 gold miner Petropavlovsk (POG) after shareholders voted not to reappoint former chief executive Pavel Maslovskiy.
Rebel shareholders fought off a comeback attempt by former management following the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday, which was called on 30 June in order to vote back in directors who were booted off the board.
Maslovskiy, who co-founded Petropavlovsk with Peter Hambro in 1994, lost the top role at the time and has now failed to get back on the board.
The company’s shares fell 8% to 31.6p yesterday in the immediate aftermath of the vote before recovering somewhat, and today are around 2.8% lower at 32.4p.
HAMBRO AND TEMPORARY CHIEF EXEC ALSO BOOTED OUT
In response to the previous vote, Petropavlovsk elected five new board members pending approval yesterday, but these have now been dismissed as one of Everest’s proposals got through.
Among those dismissed were Hambro and Dr Alya Samokhvalova, who was appointed temporary chief executive when Mavlovskiy was booted out.
As a result of the meeting, Petropavlovsk’s board now comprises of James Cameron Jr, Maksim Kharin, Charlotte Philipps and Katia Ray.
Shareholders also passed a special resolution requiring an independent forensic investigation of related party transactions in the last three years.
‘WE DO NOT INTEND TO STAND BY’
Another shareholder, Prosperity Capital, called the EGM result ‘disappointing’ but vowed to carry on fighting for change.
Prosperity’s chief investment advisor Alexander Branis said, ‘We had many positive discussions with our fellow minority shareholders in the run-up to the EGM all of whom affirmed our position that Petropavlovsk deserves a strong, independent board that will help ensure that the company’s intrinsic value is not masked by poor governance.
‘We do not intend to stand by as control of our company is surreptitiously transferred to Everest and UGC, the latter of which claimed that it wanted a board comprised of truly experienced, diverse, and independent directors which we now clearly do not have.
‘We will continue to engage with Petropavlovsk shareholders, management, and the board to ensure that governance enables rather than impedes sustained value creation.’