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Detained Former Uralkali CEO May Have Got $11M Severance Payment

Vladislav Baumgertner, former CEO of Russian potash producer Uralkali currently under house arrest in Moscow, may have received more than 400 million rubles ($11.3 million) last year as part of his severance package from the company, a news report said.

The world's largest potash producer paid more than 473 million rubles in compensation to its top-management during the last quarter of 2013, which included the package for Baumgertner, Prime news agency reported.

Of the fourth quarter payout, 471 million rubles was designated as salary — more than 400 million rubles higher than in the first three quarters of 2013, when managers received 63 million rubles, 59.3 million rubles and 55.7 million rubles in salary.

Baumgertner was replaced as head of the company in late December, though he remains on the board of directors.

Belarussian authorities arrested Baumgertner during a visit to Minsk last year on abuse of power charges after Uralkali quit a joint sales venture with Belarussian potash producer Belaruskali, which sent potash prices tumbling worldwide. He was extradited to Russia in November and is currently under house arrest on similar charges for his role at Uralkali, a restrictive measure that has now been extended to April 14, RAPSI news agency reported.

Baumgertner's replacement as CEO came shortly after shareholder Suleiman Kerimov's stake in the company was bought by billionaires Mikhail Prokhorov and Dmitry Mazepin, a move thought to ease tensions between Uralkali and the Belarussian government, which owns Belaruskali.

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