Abramovich to sell part of Channel One Russia’s shares due to obtaining Israeli citizenship

Abramovich to sell part of Channel One Russia’s shares due to obtaining Israeli citizenship
Roman Abramovich

The entrepreneur takes the plunge to bring the ownership structure in line with the law on media.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich will reduce his stake in Channel One Russia to 20%, RBC reports referring to Roskomnadzor’s press service.

According to the Law No. 2124-1 (On the Mass Media), since January 2016, foreigners and persons with dual citizenship may not directly or indirectly own more than 20% of the media founder company.

The publication notes that Abramovich, who has recently obtained the citizenship of Israel, currently owns 24% of the Channel One Russia JSC through ORT-KB LLC. The entrepreneur does not plan to sell his shareholding entirely; it is a question of reducing his share to the maximum permissible threshold of 20%.

One of the channel’s current shareholders will buy the ‘extra’ 4%. According to RBC’s source, it is the national media group, which also owns shares of REN TV, Channel Five, and Izvestiya, that can buy the stake from Roman Abramovich. At the moment, it owns 25% of the Channel One assets through Rastrkom-2002 LLC. The remaining shares are distributed among state structures – 38.9% is with the Federal Property Management Agency, 9.1% with the ITAR-TASS FSUE, and 3% with Televizionny Tekhnichesky Tsentr Ostankino (‘Ostankino Television Technical Center’) FSUE.

A representative of Millhouse LLC, which manages Roman Abramovich’s assets – John Mann – has refused to comment on the information of Roskomnadzor. Representatives of Ostankino and the National Media Group have also declined to comment.

The granting of Israeli citizenship to Roman Abramovich, who ranks 11th in Forbes 200 richest businessmen of Russia with assets worth $10.8 billion, was reported in late May. 

In accordance with the Israeli Law of Return and on a general basis for all returnees with Jewish roots, the businessman became an Israeli citizen against the backdrop of the Skripals poisoning and deteriorated diplomatic climate between Russia and the UK. Prior to this, Abramovich had been denied the extension of a British investment visa, which prevented him from attending the FA Cup final, at which Chelsea beat Manchester United.

Currently, Abramovich is building a spacious mansion in the prestigious Tel Aviv district of Neve Tzedek. According to Globes, Roman Abramovich purchased the land plot with an area of 1.5 thousand square meters along with a one-story hotel complex The Varsano back in April 2015. The land plot and real estate in Tel Aviv cost him $25 million.

Tags: Oligarchs
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