MOSCOW Nov 19 Russian mobile phone operator
MegaFon named a former UK minister to be an independent director
as it tries to smooth investor worries about how the company is
run before a $2 billion share listing.
MegaFon, controlled since April by metals tycoon
Alisher Usmanov, is marketing its initial public offering (IPO)
to investors, aiming to raise around $2 billion for Nordic
telecoms group TeliaSonera, which is cutting its
stake, and itself.
The IPO, due to be completed later this month, was clouded
by the surprise withdrawal of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs
as an underwriter due to what one source said were
unspecified shareholding concerns.
MegaFon reacted in October by saying the make-up of its
board would reflect its commitment to good corporate governance.
The board will comprise two independent non-executive directors,
two directors nominated by TeliaSonera and three directors
nominated by Usmanov's AF Telecom.
The nomination of former Treasury Minister Paul Myners, also
former Chairman of British retailer Marks & Spencer,
will take effect following a formal nomination process and
shareholder approval, MegaFon said in a statement on Monday.
"With the appointment of Lord Myners MegaFon will have a
balanced board ... which puts in place a strong corporate
governance structure," said MegaFon CEO Ivan Tavrin.
The announcement came as another former government minister,
Peter Mandelson, was appointed chairman of financial advisers
Lazard International, part of investment bank Lazard,
according to a parliamentary register.
Mandelson, secretary of state for business under the UK's
previous Labour government, had been a senior adviser at Lazard
since Jan. 2011. Lazard International's former chairman, veteran
banker Ken Costa, stepped down last year.