Former CEO of Sibir Cement Andrey Muraviev to Come Back as Director

Mar 06, 2013, 09:34 ET from RUXX Index

NEW YORK, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One of Sibir Cement founders, former President and CEO Andrey Muraviev has been nominated for the holding company's Board of Directors, according to the RUXX Index which tracks Sibir Cement. SibCem shareholders explain their decision to nominate Muraviev by their hope that "the former executive's experience would help the company recover its market share and excellent financial performance." SibCem is a major Russian cement producer, with assets across the vast Russian super-region of Siberia, serving the nation's ambitious infrastructure projects and booming real estate market.

Andrey Muraviev is a US-educated Russian entrepreneur, who ran Sibir Cement since 2004 and led the company as its President for its first four years (through 2008). During these years, the company brought under its umbrella all the cement assets it controls, stepped up investment in innovative technologies and did an IPO. Muraviev also was successful in building an effective marketing system for the cement holding company. SibCem was Russia's No. 2 cement producer by mid-2008 and was widely seen as the most efficient company in the sector (with an operating margin of 53% that year).  Market watchers note that the company was worth US$ 6 billion at one point, making Sibir Cement "arguably the most valuable cement company in the world." Muraviev quit as CEO in August 2008 over disagreements with SibCem's Chairman Oleg Sharykin.

Andrey Muraviev is currently President of Parus Capital, a Russia-dedicated investment fund which is a member of the Investor Rights Protection Association.

Muraviev commented on his possible return to Sibir Cement as a top manager: "I hope to become a Director and take a minority equity stake in the company. I believe SibCem is now one of the most undervalued cement companies the world. I see the main reasons for this in its low transparency and poor corporate governance, lack of new assets and inefficient personnel management. I look forward to honest and constructive cooperation with all SibCem directors for the benefit of all shareholders, rather than just the core shareholders. I believe the company is currently flouting the rights of minority shareholders, who have been trying in vain to collect dividends from the company for many years. I want to change this."

The holding company has seen dramatic changes in its management and Board of Directors since August 2008, as the entire top management team and all directors have been replaced. SibCem's annual revenues have declined by 75% after Muraviev's departure, while its earnings and market capitalization have also taken a hit. Investment analysts would see Muraviev's possible return as a boon for shareholders: "Muraviev essentially built the company into a market leader, he has a very impressive track record. Investors have very good reasons to expect the company to rely on his experience to regain its strong financial performance and market share," says Michael Thompson, equity markets analyst with the Russian Industrial Leaders Index.

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