Mikhail Fridman

Alisher UsmanovYou might have thought that after the battle of the billionaires at Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s oligarchs might try to steer clear of each other in the boardroom for a while.

Not Alisher Usmanov (above left). On Friday, Megafon, the phone company he controls, finalised a $1.1bn deal to buy half the largest handset retailer Euroset.

The other half Mikhail Fridmanwill belong to rival operator VimpelCom, where the biggest shareholder is fellow billionaire Mikhail Fridman (below left). Continue reading »

Mikhail Fridman, chief executive TNK-BPThe influence of Russia in Belarus’ banking sector is easily spotted. All of Russia’s major banks have subsidiaries in the country and provide them with support.

Russian finance could be set to increase further: Alfa Bank, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman (pictured), is discussing the possible acquisition of another Belarusian lender. But the target, although rumoured, is still unconfirmed. Continue reading »

After years of squabbling, an amicable parting of ways between Megafon shareholders appears to be close on the horizon. The Russian mobile operator announced on Friday that it had secured a total $4.5bn in financing from Sberbank, Gazprom and western lenders, paving the way for Megafon’s management and biggest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, to buy out rival oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s stake in the business.

A sale of the 25 per cent stake (held through Altimo, the telecoms arm of Fridman’s Alfa-Group) is expected to speed along Megafon’s long-awaited IPO which could now take place in the second half of this year if everything goes accordingly. Continue reading »