Chelsea Football Club chairman Bruce Buck is reportedly at the centre of a shareholder revolt at gold miner Petropavlovsk.
Three shareholders in the company, which is chaired by veteran financier Peter Hambro, want to appoint a group of new directors to the board, including Buck, who has chaired the Premier League champions since 2003, the Sunday Times reported.
Resources tycoon Viktor Vekselberg's Renova Group is among the stakeholders that have pledged to oust Hambro and three non-executive directors at the London listed company's annual general meeting on 20 June.
Hambro founded the Russia-focused gold miner in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the firm nearly went bust following the crash in gold prices that started in 2013. Petropavlovsk's market value has fallen by more than 99 per cent since its 2010 peak, when it was valued at over £2bn. On Friday, the miner's shares closed at 7.55p.
Renova, together with rebel shareholders Sothic Capital European Opportunities Master Fund and M&G Debt Opportunities Fund, have enough of a stake in the miner to unseat Hambro, who owns a five per cent stake in the company.
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Industry sources reportedly accused Renova, which holds a 15 per cent stake, of trying to gain control of the miner without launching a bid, according to the Sunday Times. Renova also holds gold assets in Russia.
Petropavlovsk and Renova did not immediately respond to requests for comment.