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Buzz Barometer: Mikhail Fridman May Prove Too Tough a Nut For UK Govt - FT
March 6, 2015 16:56

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The Financial Times digs deep into a possible standoff between the UK government and a Russian tycoon.
Mikhail Fridman, the Russian owner of a large group spanning telecoms, retail and banking, worth $17.6bn (according to Forbes), is set to take on the British government over its refusal to allow a lucrative deal.
10 Downing Street fears Mr Fridman might be placed on the sanctions list if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates.
Headquartered in London, L1 Energy, Mr Fridman’s new oil and gas venture, is a subsidiary to the oligarch’s Luxembourg vehicle LetterOne which announced it had acquired RWE Dea, the oil and gas arm of Germany’s RWE, for €5bn. If Fridman is indeed hit with sanctions, it could “affect the operations of Dea’s 12 North Sea gasfields,” says the FT.
Many analysts have been puzzled by the UK government’s move since Mr Fridman “
has never been seen as a Kremlin crony” and owns one of the largest private business empires in Russia. Futhermore, he made the Kremlin’s staunch ally, Rosneft’s Igor Sechin, angry when Fridman’s TNK-BP torpedoes a deal between the Russian oil giant and BP.
“One thing is clear: if the UK government wants a fight with Mr Fridman, a man renowned for his hardball tactics, he will relish it. The oligarch’s career has been punctuated by fierce corporate battles, both with domestic rivals and western groups like BP and Norwegian telecoms group Telenor,” says the FT.
L1 Energy is an investment vehicle of LetterOne Group focused on opportunities in the global oil and gas sector by building a diversified portfolio of upstream assets through acquisitions and subsequent organic growth.
L1 Energy Advisory Team is responsible for sourcing, screening and presenting investment opportunities for approval by the Group. Once investments are made,  L1 Energy Advisory Team will be responsible for the strategy and operational performance of the oil & gas investment portfolio. L1 Energy Advisory Team is supported by Pamplona Capital Management as its strategic investment advisor and an independent Advisory Board.


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Fridman Russia International    

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