Aeroflot OKs Board Candidates

Aeroflot's board of directors has approved a list of 18 candidates for election to the nine-seat board and has put forward Valery Okulov for a second term as CEO, the airline said Tuesday.

The elections will be held at a shareholders meeting scheduled for May 25.

The list includes nine state representatives, seven candidates from the airline's new shareholders and two candidates from staff, Okulov and CFO Alexander Zurabov.

The current board of state-controlled Aeroflot consists of Okulov, Prospekt brokerage general director Mikhail Vinchel, Profit House brokerage managing director Alexander Nemtsov, Zurabov and five state officials.

Vinchel, Nemtsov and Zurabov were elected at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in September called at the request of Carroll Trading SA, an offshore that along with another company last year bought 26 percent of Aeroflot. Carroll had put the three up as candidates.

Carroll is tied to Chukotka Governor Roman Abramovich, co-owner of Sibneft and Russian Aluminum, whose assets, including Aeroflot shares, are managed by the recently formed Millhouse Capital U.K. Ltd.

The new list of candidates includes Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref; Aeroflot chairman and Transport Minister Sergei Frank; Transport Ministry officials Vladimir Goryachev and Stanislav Ovcharenko; State Civil Aviation Service chief Alexander Neradko; First Deputy Property Minister Alexander Braverman; Deputy FSB Director Yury Zaostrovtsev; Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Chernukhin and presidential aviation adviser Yevgeny Shaposhnikov.

Carroll's list includes Vinchel and Nemtsov and five Millhouse officials.

Earlier, industry watchers believed that Zurabov would replace Okulov, whose five-year term expires in May.

United Financial Group analyst Yulia Zhdanova said Okulov receiving the board's support signifies a balance of interests between the state, the new shareholders and managers.

"Okulov has done a lot of good for the company, and there are no obvious reasons to part with him," she said.