Noble founder steps aside ahead of key vote

The founder of Noble will free up his executive director role ahead of the beleaguered commodity trading firm's vote on its $3.5 billion debt-for-equity swap.

Richard Elman, the founder of Noble Group, has junked plans to become an executive director of the new firm that it hopes to be reborn as, just days before shareholders vote on its do-or-die $3.5 billion debt restructuring.

In a statement on Monday, Noble, once Asia's biggest commodity trader but hounded by accounting issues and unsustainable debts for the best part of the last three years, said Elman’s decision not to assume the role was due to personal reasons, without providing further details.

Noble said the composition of New Noble's board will be announced prior to August 27 when existing shareholders -- including Elman, who owns...

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