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Russia’s biggest gold producer’s largest shareholder donates 100% of shares

Image from Polyus.

PJSC Polyus (LSE, MOEX: PLZL) Russia’s largest gold producer, has announced that Said Kerimov has donated 100% stake in Wandle Holdings, Polyus’ largest shareholder, and owned by Kerimov, to the fund for support of Islamic foundations.

The fund was established by the Council of Muftis of Russia, the Muslim Spiritual Board of the European part of Russia and Mufti sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin and was established in 2012, Polyus said in a media statement.

Kerimov is the son of Russian billionaire and politician Suleyman Kerimov, who transferred shares in 2015. In April, Wandle Holdings divested a 29.99% stake in the company to Akropol Group, NS Energy reported.

As a result of the transfer, Kerimov no longer executes any economic interest or ownership rights in respect to the company, directly or indirectly, Polyus said.

The fund now indirectly owns 46.35% of the company via IJSC “Wandle Holdings Limited”. Following the transaction, Akhmet Palankoyev owns 29.99% of Polyus’ share capital.

The company’s top management team jointly owns 0.94% of Polyus shares, with treasury shares representing 0.47% of share capital. The remaining 22.25% continues to trade as a free float in form of local shares on Moscow Exchange and in form of depositary receipts on London Stock Exchange.

“We welcome this act of philanthropy of Mr. Said Kerimov in these challenging times and hope this will inspire other people and corporations to help those in need,” Mufti sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin, head of the fund for support of Islamic foundations, said in the statement. “As a non-for-profit foundation, we fully trust the current management team to take the company forward and do not plan to be involved in the day-to-day running of the business.”

Polyus said it intends to form its board  of directors majorly comprised by independent directors.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Canadian miner Kinross Gold (TSX: G) (NYSE: KGC) in April sold its Russian assets to Highland Gold Mining for $680 million in cash, a month after suspending its operations in the country.