The lavish wealth of Roman Abramovich’s business partners can be revealed today, including offshore investments in a Caribbean resort, plans to redevelop a church in Marylebone and a huge range of properties in the UK and overseas. of the.
Documents seen by the Guardian detail the sprawling business empire controlled by Russian billionaires Alexander Abramov and Aleksandr Frolov.
The business partners hold a combined 29% stake in Russian steel and coking coal producer Evraz, alongside Abramovich. Although not directly under British sanctions, Evraz was named in those against Abramovich and his actions were suspended. Neither Abramov nor Frolov have faced sanctions in the UK, EU or US.
Abramov, a steel baron who founded Evraz and oversaw its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2005, received the Russian Decoration for Charity in 2017. He was pictured with Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu at the award ceremony.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Labor MP Margaret Hodge named Abramov as one of many Russian billionaires, “who got their money just because they’re close to the Kremlin, and they only keep their wealth because that they remained close to the Kremlin”. ”.
Both men were also named to the “Putin List” of 210 Russian personalities published by the US Treasury in 2018. Abramov, Frolov and Evraz did not respond to requests for comment.
Announcing sanctions against Abramovich, the government said it believed Evraz could make steel for the Russian military, including tanks. The company denied this, saying it only supplied steel to the infrastructure and construction sectors.
Together, Abramov and Frolov have an extraordinary portfolio, including multiple investments in the UK. Documents seen by the Guardian show these included:
West Caicos, a Caribbean island destined to be developed as a luxury resort island.
Co-investment in the redevelopment of All Souls Church near the BBC in Marylebone, London, to include offices.
Shepherd’s Bush in London, through an investment in the company to acquire a majority stake.
Office space in London, Leicester and Glasgow.
A Prague golf course community with more than houses and a hotel and spa.
Land and partially built hotel in Mykonos, alongside an operating partner.
An office on Clifford Street, one of London’s most prestigious Mayfair addresses.
The pair’s property investments in the UK total over £100million.
They have also previously invested in historic British pubs, including LGBTQ venue Black Cap in Camden, north London. The couple helped fund the purchase of the pub in 2010, according to Transparency International, a deal that was followed by a long-running battle with campaigners over plans to redevelop it into flats.
Abramov and Frolov control their global network of investments through Vollin Holdings Ltd – a British Virgin Islands-based entity, tax haven and financial secrecy jurisdiction.
Vollin’s investments, worth more than €500 million, are in turn managed by Mayfair-based Kew Capital LLP, which was founded after Evraz listed on the FTSE.
In its sanctions notice, the government claimed that Abramovich effectively controlled Evraz and that the company provided goods and services to the Russian government that could aid in the invasion of Ukraine.
Evraz denied that his steel was used to build Russian tanks and said Abramovich had no “effective control”.
However, it signed a five-year deal in 2012 to supply railway wheels and “metal” to UralVagonZavod, a Russian company that is the world’s largest battle tank manufacturer. It manufactures T-72s and T-90s which are currently in service in Ukraine.
Since being added to the UK sanctions list, Abramovich’s assets have been frozen, meaning he cannot sell his stake in Evraz. He bought a 41% stake for £1.6 billion in 2006 from Abramov and Frolov. The size of the stake has since shrunk to 29% but was worth £2.5bn at the start of the year, before the war in Ukraine triggered a crash in Evraz’s share price.
The entire board has resigned and the company’s shares have been suspended from the LSE since March 10.
Vollin’s assets have been unrestricted and its investments are managed by Kew Capital and promoted through a wholly owned vehicle called Decimus Real Estate from offices in Mayfair.
One of the most eye-catching of these assets, pictured among other projects on the Decimus website, is West Caicos, which is set to be developed in partnership with a luxury real estate firm. Plans for the island include a marina village, boutique hotels, a golf course and mooring spaces for guest superyachts.
The company’s website boasts of its involvement in developments such as luxury homes in London’s Kensington and Knightsbridge, a portfolio of prestigious pubs in the UK capital, student accommodation in Florence, Italy, and a farmhouse. almond trees in Portugal.