The vanity fair. What Russian oligarchs have spent their money for in 2017
2017 is coming to its end and it's time to find out what Russian oligarchs have spent their money for this year (spoiler: nothing original, all the luxury as usual). So, yachts, jets and huge diamonds are in the top of the list. Elite foreign real estate also remains popular among Russian oligarchs. The CrimeRussia has prepared a list of the craziest spending of oligarchs.
In the end of 2016, the President of Russia was asked what he thought about Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin’s luxurious dacha in Barvikha, as well as huge spending of officials and top managers of state corporations. Answering this question, Vladimir Putin urged officials "to be more modest", and hinted that one should limit their expenses, even if they have money. After all, it is necessary to understand "in which country we live", and "not to irritate people".
A clear hint of the President was heard and understood by many. The number of scandals involving officials buying luxury items has decreased dramatically. However, not everyone was ready to understand this and not "irritate people". May be some Russian oligarchs did not want to listen to Putin's advice, or just wanted to prove that even the President does not give them a decree. And they continued to waste their money on public.
The craziest purchases in 2017 were made by billionaires who left Russia long time ago. They do not care that in the eyes of the West they remain Russian oligarchs, who earned their fortune by criminal means. However, it seems like they just don’t really care what people think.
Roman Abramovich took the top of the list, as usual. In November, it became known that the billionaire secretly acquired another historic mansion in the center of New York located on 9E of 75th St for $ 18 million. The New York Post reported that this is the fourth building bought by the Russian oligarch in the NY city center.
Initially, Abramovich intended to combine all the houses he had bought (11, 13 and 15E) in order to make one huge mansion. Its area would be 1672 square meters, the largest apartment house in the city. And when the house 9E was put up for sale, Abramovich decided to buy this mansion for his collection as well. Famous (and very expensive) architect Stephen Wang is going to provide Abramovich with his services in the house. Purchase of all four buildings cost oligarch at least $ 100 million.
At the same time, Abramovich attracted attention to another luxurious London mansion Lindsey House, when he started to redecorate it. The billionaire decided to build an underground complex with a sauna and a swimming pool.
The Vodka King, Yuri Shefler, also decided to invest in real estate this March of this year. The Russian oligarch acquired the most expensive hunting farm in Scotland.
As The Telegraph reported, the Tulchan mansion located in the valley of River Spey was put up for sale for 25 million euros, and it’s still unknown what price the oligarch paid for it. The area of the land is 85 square kilometers. The owner can hunt snipe, black grouse and woodcocks, catch salmon, there are also five farms and beef and lamb producing plant. The previous owners of the estate were kings Edward VII, George V and George VI, US President Theodore Roosevelt, American businessman William Vanderbilt and Belgium King Leopold.
The oligarchs who decided to stay in Russia prefer investing in football clubs this year. Their spending was regular - yachts, jets and other items of "modest" oligarch life. So, the richest man in Russia (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index) and main shareholder of Severstal, Alexei Mordashov, was not original this year as well. The billionaire already has a yacht: 65-meter "Lady M" with a 7-meter pool, a sports hall and a helipad. It is believed to be the largest aluminum yacht built in the US. However, this year the richest man in Russia decided that this yacht did not match his status and started construction of a new one, much more bigger - over 100 meters long.
Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel, is expected to bypass Mordashov and become Russia’s richest man in 2017. According to Bloomberg, the rise in price of nickel increased capital of the oligarch to $ 19 billion. So, this year the billionaire decided to celebrate this with expensive toys for himself.
English website superyachtfan.com tracking purchases of super yachts and private airliners, reported: the Russian oligarch has purchased five more jet planes since the beginning of the year and has launched seven new yachts. Potanin chose Gulfstream G650, which considered to be the most technological and fastest. The cost of such aircraft in the basic configuration starts from $ 65 million. Two Gulfstream G550 (each for $ 55 million) Potanin has already purchased earlier.
The cost of the oligarchs’ yachts is not known. This year the owner of Norilsk Nickel has bought 88.5-meter Barbara, 88.5-meter Julia, 88.5-meter Juessica, 88.5-meter Melanie, 88.5-meter Sabrina, 88.5-meter Eva and 88.5-meter Juanita. According to experts, the cost of each is no less than 250 million dollars. Previously, Potanin bought 75.5-meter Anastasia and 88.5-meter Nirvana (both are obviously cheaper) were equipped with gyms, 3D cinemas, bars, restaurants, swimming pools and even a terrarium with exotic inhabitants. If all 9 yachts are put in a line, their length will reach 783.5 meters. Full refueling of them costs 4.5 million dollars to the oligarch. This is more than his former wife got after their divorce.
Andrey Melnichenko, main shareholder of EuroChem, SUEK and SGK, has also became famous for buying a yacht this year. The billionaire has launched the world's largest sailing yacht "A", the cost of which is estimated at more than $ 400 million. The length of the ship is 142.81 meters, which is about 30% more than the nearest competitor. The yacht "A" has eight decks and three 90-meter masts, a capsule with panoramic window, through which the owner observes the underwater life. There is a helipad for guests, as well as individual pools and rotating beds. The vessel is serviced by 54 crew members.
Vagit Alekperov, the president of PJSC LUKOIL, fails to compete with Melnichenko. His yacht Galactica Super Nova built last year is only 70 meters long - modest, especially for the Russian oligarchs. It is much smaller than Abramovich’s Eclipse and Melnichenko’s "A". But Alekperov managed to become a champion in another field. This year, the oligarch did not buy a yacht, but his own port in Barcelona, Spain.
Vagit Alekperov's port
As ScanMarine TM press service reported, in September, one of the most expensive yachts in the world and one of the most prestigious places for luxury yachts became property of this Russian businessman of Azerbaijani origin.
Alekperov has bought the marina in Barcelona together with investment bank QInvest of Qatar. Neither info on proportion of shares nor the amount of transaction has been disclosed. However, experts believe that the 169-meter luxury marina cost no less than $ 2 billion. The place is equipped with modern infrastructure with warehouses, also there are restaurants, bars, car parks, a fitness center, a beauty salon and a club.
Mikhail Fridman, founder of Alfa Group and the largest shareholder of Luxembourg holding LetterOne, was recognized as the best businessman in 2016 by Forbes. At first glance, he really behaves as a businessman. He spends money not on yachts and airplanes, but on business development. Thus, Friedman has made two major deals at once this year through the LetterOne holding: he acquired English healthy food chain Holland & Barrett for $ 2.3 billion and invested $ 3 billion in Pamplona Capital Management fund, owned by Friedman’s former partner, Alexander Knaster. For this money, he purchased American companies Parexel (medicine) and BakeMark (bakery industry). Purchase of Parexel cost $ 4.5 billion to the businessman.
Taking a closer look at the businessman’s activity, one can find out that Friedman invests not only in the development of his business empire. At the beginning of last year, the billionaire bought 65-million-euros historic Victorian mansion called Athlone House in the north of London, as well as two hectares of land. After he bought the real estate, the Russian oligarch redecorated it for 80 million euros (more than its cost). There are six bedrooms in the house, as well as a cigar room, a gym, a yoga room, an underground pool and a wine cellar. Next to the mansion, there are several tennis courts. After the reconstruction, the estate will cost at least 130 million pounds sterling.
This year, Russian oligarchs showed off not only with luxurious purchases, but also with huge weddings. In July of this year, public was amazed with a wedding organized by Eldar Osmanov, co-owner of Mezhregionsoyuzenergo holding company, and businessman Albert Avdolyan, founder and owner of SCARTEL company, for their children.
The wedding of Lolita Osmanova and Gaspar Avdolyan took place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, where the Oscar ceremony traditionally takes place. Popular TV presenters Ksenia Sobchak and Andrey Malakhov were hosting the ceremony. Singers Svetlana Loboda, Nikolai Baskov, Stas Mikhailov and Lady Gaga were also entertaining their gusts. Decoration with flowers cost 500 thousand dollars, while rent of the Oscar hall was $10 million. Instead of regular invitation cards, guests were given black cases, inside which there were copies of Oscar statuettes, a set of playing chips and a gold plate with the names of newlyweds. The gusts also received a video message on the built-in case screen.
The cost of the bride’s dress and wedding rings was not disclosed. However, we managed to find out, how much billionaire from Samara Alexey Shapovalov spent on a ring for his chosen one. In May, he presented a ring with a diamond of impressive size to his bride Ksenia Tsaritsyna. The stone on the model's arm, the picture of which she posted in her social net, was about 79 carats. According to experts, Elizabeth Taylor owned similar ring which value was estimated at $ 9 million.
On August 13, Shapovalov and Tsaritsyna had their wedding party in luxury village of Barvikha outside Moscow. Pop stars Sergei Shnurov, Polina Gagarina were singing for them. A cake of eight meters high was presented to the guests. At least 30 million rubles was spent.
The wedding made the headlines: The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan and other publications wrote about the party. Journalists called the ceremony one of the most expensive in recent decades, and the engagement ring of the bride was called "crazy."
“Crazy” is the exact word fully describing lifestyle of Russian oligarchs. They surprise and shock people, but not the Russians. At home, everyone got used to the Russian elite showing off and wasting their money.