* Onexim CEO replaced on RUSAL board by Onexim's deputy CEO
* Onexim CEO quit due to other business commitments - RUSAL
(Adds quotes from a source close to Rusal)
MOSCOW Nov 13 Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska
appears to have tightened his grip on aluminium giant RUSAL
after seeing off the chief executive of rival
shareholder Onexim, who has left the board.
RUSAL said on Tuesday Dmitry Razumov was replaced on the
board by Christophe Charlier, Onexim's deputy CEO, due to other
business commitments. Razumov said he did not have any
disagreement with the board, RUSAL said in a statement.
Shareholders in RUSAL, controlled by Deripaska, have been in
dispute over the company's corporate governance and its strategy
over a 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world's
largest nickel and palladium miner.
"RUSAL's board decides nothing now and turned out to be a
body which is signing off Deripaska's decisions," a source close
to Onexim told Reuters on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Onexim, an investment vehicle of tycoon
Mikhail Prokhorov, declined to comment.
Earlier this year, RUSAL's minority shareholder Viktor
Vekselberg quit as the company's chairman, saying the firm was
in "deep crisis" and overburdened with debt.
Deripaska has resisted calls to dispose of RUSAL's stake in
Norilsk Nickel to pay down debts at a time when aluminium
markets are weak. Onexim has been in favour of selling the
stake, sources have said previously.
In October Matthias Warnig, a former East German secret
agent turned investment banker who has known Russian President
Vladimir Putin since the 1990s, was appointed chairman of RUSAL.
The source added that this decision did not change Onexim's
strategy towards RUSAL, in which it owns 17.02 percent.
Meanwhile, a source close to RUSAL, said that Charlier
attended several RUSAL board meetings as Onexim's representative
recently because Razumov was busy with other projects.
"The current chairman of the board Matthias Warnig pays a
lot of attention to discipline and demands that all members of
the board attend the meetings," the source close to RUSAL said.
"Razumov is busy with a lot of projects and was often unable
to attend the meetings," he added. "Charlier attended the
meetings instead of him. The replacement of the Onexim
representative only formalises the existing state of affairs."
RUSAL, which posted on Monday a recurring net loss of $76
million for the three months ended September, has negotiated
waivers on tests of its loan agreements until the end of 2013.
Its net debt of $10.7 billion partly stems from the purchase
of the Norilsk stake in 2008 for an estimated $14 billion.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Mark Potter and Mike