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EN+ executive chair Greg Barker to step down

Greg Barker, a former Conservative minister, has resigned as chair of EN+ because the Russian metals group considers carving out its worldwide operations into a brand new firm.

Barker joins an exodus of City of London grandees and executives from boards of corporations with shut Russian ties amid rising worldwide alarm over the civilian toll of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Until now Barker, who served as local weather minister in David Cameron’s coalition authorities, had resisted reducing ties with EN+, which was based by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and controls Rusal, the largest aluminium producer outdoors China.

He stated final week that his resignation would result in the resignation of all the EN+ board and the termination of a deal that freed the corporate from US sanctions imposed in 2018.

“EN+ is a very international company with a big operation in Ukraine,” he instructed The Times newspaper. “Whatever the optics, the fact is I have a real responsibility for thousands of employees on the ground right now in Ukraine and I will not shirk that responsibility.”

However, Barker has come below rising stress to step down due to the corporate’s hyperlinks to Deripaska, with some Conservative MPs calling for him to be faraway from the House of Lords if he didn’t give up.

He bowed to that stress on Monday with EN+ saying Barker had tendered his resignation and would depart the corporate as soon as he had accomplished a transition to his alternative Christopher Bancroft Burnham, the corporate’s senior non-executive director.

EN+ stated Joan MacNaughton, a non-executive director, had additionally resigned with instant impact.

At the identical time the corporate stated it was learning plans to spin off its worldwide belongings. These embody bauxite mines in Guinea and a refinery in Ireland that produces a uncooked materials for aluminium smelters throughout Europe.

“The group wishes to emphasise that the strategic review is at a preliminary stage and any future course of action will be subject to further consideration as well as discussions with the relevant regulatory bodies and key stakeholders,” it stated in a press release.

EN+ and Barker declined to touch upon experiences over the weekend that Barker, who has taken a depart of absence from the House of Lords, wished to safe an govt position on the worldwide spin-off firm.

Rusal has already been engaged on plans to demerge its high-carbon smelters and refineries into a brand new firm in order that it could actually give attention to the fast-growing marketplace for “green” aluminium.

Barker, who stepped down as an MP in 2015 and was made a peer, turned non govt chair of EN+ simply earlier than the corporate’s London itemizing in 2017.

In 2018 the US imposed sanctions on EN+ and Rusal, which Deripaska managed on the time, over the oligarch’s ties to the Russian authorities, sparking turmoil on world aluminium markets.

Deripaska relinquished management of the teams in 2019 in a deal brokered by Barker, who turned govt chair, in change for the US lifting sanctions on the businesses.

Deripaska stays a “specially designated national” by the US and retains a 44.95 per cent stake in EN+, although his voting rights are capped at 35 per cent.

For his position in broking a cope with the US Treasury, Barker pocketed a $5.9mn bonus in 2019 on prime of a $1.9mn wage. He earned $4mn in 2020. His pay for 2021 has not been disclosed.

Barker in September appointed George Osborne as an adviser to the corporate, handing the previous UK chancellor one in all his first mandates since reinventing himself as an funding banker at Robey Warshaw, a London-based advisory agency.

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