UPDATE 1-Exillon CEO, chairman and three directors quit; shares plunge

Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:55am EDT

(Adds Exillon's response, analyst comment, updates shares)

March 21 (Reuters) - Russian oil producer Exillon Energy Plc said its chief executive, chairman and three other board members had resigned, saying they could not work without the support of the directors nominated by its largest shareholder, Alexei Khotin.

Shares in Exillon, whose oilfields are located in northern Russia and western Siberia, fell as much as 24 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

Billionaire Khotin got two of his nominees named to the oil producer's board in January after one of the companies controlled by him said it could make a bid for Exillon.

"We were informed by Exillon's CEO Mark Martin that he was no longer able to exercise practical control over the company's operations and assets without the support of the newly appointed directors," Chairman David Herbert said in a statement.

Exillon declined to provide additional details.

The two Khotin-affiliated directors, Alexander Suchkov and Sergey Koshelenko, intend to appoint RusOil Deputy CEO Pavel Chernienko to Exillon's board.

Khotin is also the beneficial owner of the RusOil Group.

"Clearly, the concern for minority investors is that the familiar faces of the past are no longer with the company and there is little certainty over quite how things will proceed in the months ahead," Mirabaud Securities analysts wrote in a note.

The brokerage, however, said Khotin's clout in Russia may benefit the company in the longer term.

Exillon's shareholder list has seen considerable churn since December, when founder and largest shareholder Kazakh businessman - Maksat Arip - sold his stake to Khotin.

Exillon's shares were down 19 percent at 118 pence at 1445 GMT. (Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)