Russian aluminum producer United Co Rusal yesterday said that it has appointed independent non-executive director Jean-Pierre Thomas as its new chairman as part of an agreed restructuring in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions.
The previous chairman, Matthias Warnig, stepped down earlier this week after six years at the world’s largest aluminium producer outside China. His resignation was a condition of the deal.
Jean-Pierre Thomas was elected by the board as chairman with effect from Tuesday, Rusal said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Thomas, 61, has been an independent non-executive director on Rusal’s board since June. He was a managing partner at Lazard investment bank for 15 years, leaving in 2013.
He has also been an independent non-executive director on the board of French metals producer Recylex since 2009.
The US Department of the Treasury said last week it would remove sanctions against Rusal, its parent En+ Group and power firm EuroSibEnergo PLC if they restructured to reduce the controlling stakes of businessman Oleg Deripaska, who is on Washington’s sanctions list.
The deal is subject to a 30-day review period in the US Congress. After the restructuring is completed, En+ would retain the right to nominate the producer’s chief executive, the US Treasury has said.
“Mr Thomas has in-depth experience with Russian relations, having been tasked with several projects aimed at boosting economic cooperation between France and Russia,” Rusal said in a disclosure in June.
Hong Kong-listed shares of Rusal yesterday rose 2 percent and were on track for their biggest monthly percentage gain in a year.
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