February 21, 2011 / 4:46 PM / 9 years ago

Uralkali ex-CEO to head Russian potash champion

* Vladislav Baumgertner to be CEO of Uralkali-Silvinit

* Was Uralkali CEO between 2005 and 2010

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Russian potash miner Uralkali (URKA.MM) has appointed former CEO Vladislav Baumgertner to head the newly merged Uralkali-Silvinit SILV.MM, set to be the world’s second biggest producer of the fertilizer ingredient.

The company said in a statement Baumgertner, who ran Uralkali URKAq.L between 2005 and 2010 before switching to a similar role at Silvinit, would replace Pavel Grachev, who had led Uralkali through the pre-merger transition period.

Uralkali and fellow potash miner Silvinit agreed earlier this month to join forces to create a national Russian champion that will come close to challenging world’s biggest producer Potash Corp POT.TO, of Canada.

The merger was engineered by billionaire tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, who bought controlling stakes in both Uralkali and Silvinit alongside associates during last summer.

Potash has emerged as a valuable commodity in a world struggling to feed a growing population while battling droughts and floods.

Uralkali also said its board has approved an additional share issue for the equity part of the merger. (Reporting by John Bowker and Natalia Shurmina, writing by John Bowker; Editing by Hans Peters)

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