Essar directors resign ahead of delisting plan

Suzie Neuwirth
ESSAR Energy yesterday said seven of its non-executive directors have resigned with immediate effect, ahead of the majority stakeholder’s plan to take the oil and gas company private next month.

Chairman Prashant Ruia and vice chairman Ravi Ruia, two members of the billionaire family that founded Essar, have resigned. The Ruia family is a beneficiary of Essar Global Fund, the stakeholder that launched the take-private bid.

Colourful businessman Simon Murray, a former French Foreign Legionnaire who previously held the chairman role at commodities trader Glencore, has stepped down.

Sattar Hajee Abdoula, Philip Aiken, Subhas C Lallah and Steve Lucas have also resigned. The delisting of the firm, which owns the struggling Stanlow oil refinery in north west England, marks the end of a tumultuous four years on the London Stock Exchange.

Essar floated in 2010 at 420p a share, but the stock has since crashed due to mining delays and tax disputes.

Last week Essar’s independent committee “reluctantly” recommended that the firm’s minority shareholders accept EGF’s 70p per share offer.