VTB closed the credit line of the Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska

VTB closed the credit line of the Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska

Rusal, the world's second-biggest aluminum producer, said Thursday that CEO Alexandra Bouriko and seven directors had resigned.

The company was hit with sanctions on April 6 when the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) put Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch with close ties to the Russian Government and a controlling stake in Rusal, on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.

There was no mention in the company's statement about Deripaska ceding his control over the company, a step the USA government is likely to insist on before it considers lifting the sanctions.

The sanctions paralysed Rusal's supply chain, scared off many customers, froze Deripaska out of Western debt markets and sent shares in his major companies plummeting. The company also warned that the United States sanctions, which were announced last month, could make it tough for it to pay back its debts.

Rusal said in a statement on Friday that Deripaska has tendered his resignation from the board, effective immediately, and that the move was part of "the efforts that have been made.to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders since the OFAC sanctions were imposed". In addition, since June 28, members of the En+ board of directors, which is controlled by Deripaska, have left their posts.

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A Treasury spokesman did not reply to a request for further clarification of Tuesday's guidance.

Evgeny Nikitin, head of Rusal's aluminum division, has been appointed by the board as the acting CEO of the company for a period from May 23 until the board appoints a new CEO. Rusal said unless sanctions are lifted or the winddown period is extended after October 23, its customers are likely to discontinue any existing contracts after the date.

Deripaska subsequently announced he would cut management ties with Rusal and his holding company En+, and reduce his stakes to under 50 percent. "Opportunities to provide financing to the Group on commercially reasonable terms will be very limited", the statement said.

The exodus means that Rusal's 18-strong board prior to sanctions being imposed in April has been reduced to just six.

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