Odesa-born billionaire Len Blavatnik divests his final major asset in Russia
Leonard Blavatnik (photo - Columbia University)

Odesa-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik has divested himself of his last major Russian asset, Bloomberg writes, citing sources.

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Blavatnik sold his shares in the Russian aluminum producer United Co. Rusal International PJSC in the second half of 2022. The agency's sources refused to comment on information about the buyer or other details of the agreement.

Blavatnik's share in Rusal was about 1.2 billion shares, the market value of which at the end of 2022 stood at about $610 million.

Blavatnik, who is a US citizen, has been trying to sell a stake in Rusal for several years. But the process was complicated by the fact that he owned shares through a partnership with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who has been under US sanctions since 2018. In March 2022, Vekselberg came under new US and UK sanctions.

Blavatnik earned his initial fortune of $33.5 billion through privatization in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He later successfully invested in American plastics and chemicals manufacturers LyondellBasell Industries NV and Warner Music Group Corp.

10 years ago, Blavatnik and his partners, including Vekselberg, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan, sold their stake in the Tyumen Oil Company. He received $7 billion from the deal.

65-year-old Leonard "Len" Blavatnik (Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik) is an American and British entrepreneur and industrialist. He was born in Odesa in a Jewish family. In 1978, at the age of 21, he emigrated with his family from the Soviet Union to the United States of America. He lives in New York and London. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree. In 2017, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his philanthropic services.

Most of Blavatnik's wealth is now connected to assets in the US and Europe. His holding group Access Industries owns a controlling stake in Warner Music and 20% of LyondellBasell, as well as sports broadcaster DAZN Group Ltd.

According to Bloomberg, Blavatnik ranks 38th among the richest people in the world. According to Forbes Real-Time, his net worth is $30.8 billion.