MEGAFON, the Russian telecoms group controlled by Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, yesterday bolstered its corporate governance ahead of a London flotation with the appointment of former City minister Paul Myners as an independent director.
The appointment of such a well regarded City figure, who was chief executive of Gartmore Group and chairman of Marks and Spencer before taking up a career in politics with the last Labour administration, is aimed at demonstrating to the City that the group is determined to conform to high standards of corporate governance.
Megafon’s plans, which involve raising around £1.5bn, were knocked sideways a few weeks ago when it emerged that Goldman Sachs was not on the advisory mandate, with the investment bank citing corporate governance concerns as it reason for no longer being involved. Others in the banking syndicate, which includes Morgan Stanley, say that Goldman’s departure was more to do with internal problems in the bank’s Russian office. But the controversy has shone a spotlight on the affairs of Usmanov. Ivan Tavrin, CEO of MegaFon said: “Lord Myners’ experience and track record in managing and chairing public companies will be immensely valuable for us.”