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Novorossiysk Shareholders Said to Decide on New Chief Executive

Shareholders in OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, Russia’s largest port operator, plan to change the chief executive officer as the company prepares to divide its assets, two people with knowledge of the plans said.

The board approved Sultan Batov as first deputy CEO today, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter. The port group plans to split off its oil terminals to OAO Transneft, while businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Summa Group would gain control of its remaining businesses. Novorossiysk’s press service declined to comment today.

Batov, who heads the Novorossiysk unit Baltic Stevedore Co., will be first deputy until the assets are split. His promotion to chief executive of NCSP is included on the agenda of an August shareholders meeting, one of the people said. Current CEO Yuriy Matvienko, who took the job last year, will become a deputy to Batov, the person said.

NCSP, which handles about 33% of Russia’s crude exports, has been unable to approve investments to expand its oil division during the more than yearlong shareholder conflict. Russia depends on oil and gas for half of the government’s revenue.

The Federal Property Management Agency sent President Vladimir Putin a request to approve the proposal to split off the port group’s oil terminals to Transneft, leaving Summa in control of 60 percent of NCSP, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

Transneft and Summa control a combined 50.1 percent of NCSP through their jointly owned Novoport Holding Ltd.

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