April 17, 2018 / 3:10 PM / 4 months ago

Schmolz & Bickenbach chair severs Vekselberg ties to clear way for bond

ZURICH, April 17 (Reuters) - Swiss steelmaker Schmolz and Bickenbach’s chairman severed ties to sanctioned Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s investment vehicle after bond underwriters demanded it as a condition of an upcoming transaction, a spokesman for the vehicle, Renova Group, said on Tuesday.

Chairman Edwin Eichler terminated his relationship with Renova on Monday and will stand instead for re-election to the board of Schmolz & Bickenbach, in which Vekselberg has a significant stake, as an independent director.

“Renova Group disagrees with the premise of this request and does not accept the interpretation of the sanctions regime put forward by the underwriters,” Renova spokesman Andrey Shtorkh said in a statement. “Notwithstanding, Renova remains committed to pursuing the best interest of Schmolz & Bickenbach and has consented to such unprecedented move in recognition of the company’s immediate need for external financing.” (Reporting by John Miller)

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