Yatsenyuk initiates Ukrnafta stockholders' meeting to change management

Yatsenyuk initiates Ukrnafta stockholders' meeting to change management
Photo: Reuters

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced an Ukrnafta stockholders meeting to change the company's management in response to criticism relating to allegations that his political faction, the People's Front, supports tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky's interests.

"I'm announcing in public instructions to the energy minister to call a general meeting of Ukrnafta's stockholders, with change to the company's management on the agenda," he said during the government's hearings in parliament on Friday.

The bill passed by the parliament on January 14, 2015 to lower the required quorum for shareholders' meetings of joint-stock companies, with a state stake from 60% to 50% plus one share, doesn't concern Ukrnafta, Yatsenyuk said. He urged lawmakers to eliminate that discrepancy.

"This bill was passed in a hurry and it unfortunately has nothing to do with management at Ukrnafta. Voting should be done in a way to avoid double interpretation and court litigation for us," he said.

Yatseniuk stated that even without introducing amendments, the government will make Ukrnafta hold a stockholders' meeting, as was the case two months ago when it made the company decide on the payment of UAH 1.7 billion in dividends.

"The government will regain control of Ukrnafta," he said.

On January 13, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada passed a bill to lower the required quorum for holding a general meeting of a joint-stock company from 60% plus one share to 50% plus one share. Under the bill, this norm will be applicable to companies without a state stake starting from January 1, 2016.

The state currently owns 50% plus one share in PJSC Ukrnafta, indirectly through NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy. The company has until recently faced problems with holding stockholders' meetings, due to structures affiliated with Privat Group (connected to Dnipropetrovsk regional governor Ihor Kolomoisky), with about a 42% stake in Ukrnafta, being absent from the meetings.

Peter Vanhecke has been Ukrnafta board chairman since February 2011.

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