The interim chief executive of petropavlovsk, the russian-focused gold miner listed in london, forced his way into the companys country headquarters in moscow following a stand-off with staff.
Cctv footage, seen by the financial times, shows maxim meshcheryakov and a group of men clambering over turnstiles to gain entry to the office on august 26.
It also captures them inside the companys computer server room examining it equipment before one of the men disables the cctv camera.the footage, which has been circulating on social media in russia, will raise fresh concerns about mr meshcheryakovs ability to run the ftse 250 company, which has been rocked by a succession of shareholder feuds.
The moscow office manages the companys mines and its state of the art processing hub. this facility allows petropavlovsk to produce gold from refractory ore, which is difficult to process but abundant in russia.
We are concerned about this interregnum at petropavlovsk and hope it will be over soon in some way, said alexander branis, chief investment adviser at prosperity capital management, a russia-focused asset manager that controls a large stake in petropavlovsk.
The company, which has a market capitalisation of 1.3bn, is one the biggest gold producers listed in london. it was founded in 1994 by pavel maslovskiy and peter hambro, a scion of the london banking dynasty.
The company was plunged into corporate turmoil in june when ugc, a rival russian miner, and a group of other investors ousted half of the companys board, including mr maslovskiy.
He has a loyal following among petropavlovsk staff in russia, who downed tools when he was briefly forced out of the company during another shareholder spat in 2018.
A move to reinstate mr maslovskiy and four other directors by prosperity was defeated on august 10. a week later mr meshcheryakov was appointed interim ceo, surprising analysts given his lack of experience in the gold industry.
The latest stand off comes as petropavlovsk works on a forensic examination of all deals and transactions involving the company over the past three years.
In a statement petropavlovsk, said mr meshcheryakov had encountered a lack of co-operation from certain employees and former staff since his appointment.
The company is aware that negative and inaccurate information has been published on social media platforms in russia regarding the interim ceo, it said. that lack of co-operation included preventing mr meshcheryakov from obtaining access to the groups office in moscowon 26-27 august 2020while he was attempting, with the full support of the board, to safeguard the groups assets and information.
It has also emerged that directors of four subsidiaries wrote to the board of petropavlovsk to raise concerns about mr meshcheryakovs credentials and his independence. the company claims he has 17 years experience in the mining industry.
The letter said: we further request that the board conduct a proper investigation into the appropriateness of mr meshcheryakov as interim chief executive officer and permanent chief executive officer if the board decides so.
Mr meshcheryakov once held a board position at bank vozrozhdenie, a russian lender once controlled by bonum capital, a private investment vehicle with a stake in petropavlovsk.