CEO at Canadian miner Hudbay steps down, industry veteran steps in – by Nichola Saminather and Debroop Roy (Reuters Canada – July 10, 2019)

(Reuters) – Canada’s Hudbay Minerals Inc said on Wednesday that Chief Executive Officer Alan Hair has stepped down after more than 20 years with the company and named Peter Kukielski, who was backed by its second largest investor in a proxy battle, as interim CEO.

As part of its proxy fight, private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management had nominated five directors to the company’s board. Three of them, including Kukielski, were elected in May following a settlement that ended the drawn-out battle.

Much of Waterton’s ire surrounded Hudbay’s reported talks to buy Chile’s Mantos Copper for about $780 million last year and what it described as an erosion of shareholder returns under its management and board.

Bloomberg reported Hudbay’s discussions to buy Mantos mine in October, but the company did not confirm the talks. Although Waterton, which held a 12.09% stake in the company as of May 3, eventually dropped its call for Hair to be replaced by Kukielski, his appointment as interim CEO is a win of sorts for the activist shareholder.

“While Mr. Kukielski has been named as interim CEO and a search for a permanent CEO has been launched, there is the possibility that Mr. Kukielski could ultimately be named permanent CEO,” analysts at TD Securities wrote in a note.

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