Prosperity Capital Comments Regarding PwC’s Inability to Accept Appointment as Petropavlovsk’s Auditor Due to Destabilizing Actions of Concert Parties Led by UGC and Everest Alliance
Prosperity Capital Management (“Prosperity”) is a leading Russia-focused asset manager that controls approximately 20 per cent of the outstanding share capital of Petropavlovsk PLC (“the Company”), a successful Russian gold mining company with great growth prospects.
Prosperity notes the concerning news that PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) have advised that they are unable to accept their appointment as auditors to the Company at this time. Prosperity views PwC’s decision as being due to the destabilising and deceptive actions of concert parties JSC Uzhuralzoloto Group of Companies (“UGC”), Everest Alliance Limited (“Everest”) and other shareholders at the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 30 June 2020. These actions resulted in the removal of seven directors and the election of the concert parties’ hand-picked directors and one directly affiliated representative.
In explanation, the Company cited PwC’s concerns “about Corporate Governance standards, the consequent lack of clarity as to the identity of those charged with governance and the current challenges facing the Board [of Directors] in its ability to function properly” following “the significant changes to the Board of Directors at the recent Annual General Meeting, namely the removal of the majority of both independent and executive directors.”
The independence and quality of the Company’s Board of Directors and management have been materially weakened and the Company has already begun to feel the ramifications of these self-serving and insidious actions by the concert parties - UGC, Everest and other shareholders. An independent board is critical to maintaining the Company’s Premium Listing.
Prosperity is calling on shareholders to preserve the Petropavlovsk Board of Directors’ independence by voting FOR its six highly qualified director candidates at the Company’s extraordinary general meeting (“the EGM”) on 10 August 2020. These candidates have been vetted by the Professional Investor Association and will bring a wealth of relevant knowledge, skill and balance to the Company.
The election of Prosperity’s slate of director nominees to the Company’s Board of Directors at the EGM will stabilise, strengthen and improve the Board of Directors’ independence, whilst providing continuity so that management can create value for all shareholders.
For more information, including instructions on how to vote your shares, please visit www.Stop-Takeover-Of-POG.com.
About Prosperity Capital Management
Founded in 1996, Prosperity Capital Management is a leading Russia-focused asset manager controlling assets of around USD 4 billion on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, sovereign wealth funds and high net worth individuals from across Europe, North America, Middle East and Australasia. The firm employs a long-term, fundamental value, active and engaged shareholder approach to access the public equity investment opportunity amongst Russian and Former Soviet Union companies.
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