How did Oleg Deripaska become the only Russian billionaire to get his business out of U.S. sanctions?
On January 27, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the removal of sanctions on three major assets of billionaire Oleg Deripaska #50: En+ holding company and his UC Rusal and Eurosibenergo energy company. Deripaska was the first and so far the only Russian billionaire who managed to get his business out of the U.S. sanctions and thus save it. At what cost?
“If the government says it is necessary to give up the company, I will give it up,” Deripaska said in an interview with the British Financial Times back in July 2007. Eleven years later, the billionaire shared with the state, but not at its request, but because of U.S. sanctions, under which eight of his companies fell on April 6, 2018.
Under pressure from the Americans, the entrepreneur agreed to reduce his stake in En+ from almost 70% to 44.96% (only 35% of shares can be voted): VTB Bank increased its stake from 9.62% to 21.68%, in addition, Deripaska’s shares went to his charity foundation “Volnoe Delo” and children. The billionaire hasn’t received any money for them, according to an agreement with the U.S. Treasury. But that’s not all.
The En+ Board of Directors now consists of 12 people, eight of whom are unrelated to Deripaska, six of whom are European and American citizens. Therefore, Duma deputies concluded that the strategic Russian company is now controlled by foreigners.
Forbes estimated Deripaska’s fortune in 2018 at $6.7 billion, a year later at $3.6 billion. The entrepreneur himself estimates his losses from the sanctions at $7.5 billion.