Home Business Three extra Russian billionaires resign from LetterOne board | Enterprise

Three extra Russian billionaires resign from LetterOne board | Enterprise


Three extra Russian billionaires have resigned from the board of the $22bn (£17bn) funding agency LetterOne after the EU imposed sanctions on its two greatest shareholders.

The corporate, which owns the well being retail chain Holland & Barrett within the UK and a swathe of power belongings throughout Europe, mentioned on Monday that German Khan, Alexei Kuzmichev and Andrei Kosogov had “resigned from all positions at LetterOne, together with the board”.

It mentioned: “None of those three people has been sanctioned, however they consider that that is the proper factor to do within the long-term pursuits of LetterOne, its workers and the numerous jobs it helps in its portfolio firms.”

Final week the UK-based Russian billionaire oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, LetterOne’s founder, and Petr Aven, who between them personal slightly below 50% of LetterOne, had their shares within the firm “frozen” after they had been hit with EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The pair then stepped down from the London-based funding group.

Mervyn Davies, the corporate’s chair and a former Labor commerce minister, mentioned he was decided to remain on at L1, regardless of repeated requires him to step down.

“The brand new board and I’ll concentrate on defending the large financial and social contribution LetterOne makes,” Lord Davies mentioned. “I’m additionally decided to make sure that the 120,000 jobs all through the UK, US and Europe are protected. We all know that everybody concerned in L1, together with our founders, would need us to take these steps given their love and keenness for and heritage in Ukraine.”

Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative MP and the chair of the overseas affairs committee, instructed the Mail on Sunday that Davies ought to step down. “Some moments demand a alternative, that is one,” he mentioned.

Davies mentioned LetterOne would make a $150m donation to “assist the pressing work below means to assist these affected by the struggle in Ukraine”.

The corporate mentioned: “We all know that everybody at LetterOne, together with our founders, assist this motion. LetterOne’s shareholders have additionally agreed that every one dividends from LetterOne can be paid to ongoing aid efforts for the foreseeable future.”

Khan, who was born in Ukraine and helped to discovered LetterOne, mentioned: “Nearly all of LetterOne founders have deep roots in Ukraine and the destruction of the cities the place I spent my childhood and that are residence to the graves of our ancestors is heartbreaking. The latest bombing of the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial centre, which we funded and helped create, feels inconceivable.

“My companions and I stand for the earliest finish to struggle and can do all we are able to to assist these affected – whether or not workers of our companies in Ukraine, or victims of the violence. We absolutely assist the board’s actions on this matter.”

Fridman and Aven had been positioned on the EU sanctions checklist final week however are usually not below UK or US sanctions. Fridman was described by the EU as “a prime Russian financier and enabler of Putin’s internal circle”.

Aven was described by the EU as “certainly one of Vladimir Putin’s closest oligarchs” and an “particularly shut private buddy” of the Rosneft chief government, Igor Sechin. “He’s certainly one of roughly 50 rich Russian businessmen who usually meet with Vladimir Putin within the Kremlin,” the EU doc mentioned.

The boys have denied any “monetary or political relationship with President Putin or the Kremlin” and mentioned they’d “contest the spurious and unfounded foundation for the imposition of those sanctions – vigorously and thru all means out there to them.”

Fridman, who was listed because the UK’s eleventh wealthiest individual within the Sunday Occasions Wealthy Listing with an estimated £11bn fortune, owns Athlone Home, a £65m mansion in Highgate, north London.

Aven, who has an estimated $5.5bn fortune, owns Ingliston Home, close to Virginia Water, on 8.5 acres of land in a gated property subsequent to Wentworth golf course. It boasts an artwork assortment together with works by Larionov, Goncharova and Kandinsky, in addition to sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore and Antony Gormley within the backyard.