Roman Abtamovich has today had at least £3.2billion of UK assets frozen, preventing him carrying out a fire sale of Chelsea FC and his London homes.
Abramovich is worth £10.4bn ($12.5bn), according to Forbes, and owns a £150m Kensington mansion, a £22m West London penthouse, and more than £1.2bn of yachts, private jets, helicopters and supercars based in Britain and around the world.
Also on the new sanctions list is Oleg Deripaska, once Russia’s richest man and named in Parliament as one of President Putin’s most loyal oligarchs giving him a net worth of between £2billion and £3.2billion. Deripaska, who once famously entertained Blairite spin doctor Lord Mandelson on his yacht, is understood to own a £50million ‘crashpad’ property on Belgrave Square in London.
He is also rumoured to have properties in nearby Eaton Square and a Surrey mansion, although the oil tycoon does not appear on the titles.
Also on today’s sanctions list Igor Sechin, chief executive of Russian oil company Rosneft, Andrey Kostin, chairman of VTB bank, Alexei Miller, chief executive of energy giant Gazprom, Nikolai Tokarev, president of Russian state-owned pipeline company Transneft and Dmitri Lebedev, chairman of the board of directors at Bank Rossiya.
Due to the habitual use of offshore companies to buy properties, it is not yet clear what assets they own in the UK, if any, but they are all banned from visiting the UK or its territories.
Roman Abramovich now cannot sell any of his UK assets without a special licence, which are near impossible to get. Any cash he holds in the UK are now frozen in accounts if he has not been able to transfer funds abroad, while his shares on the London Stock Exchange cannot be sold and will pay no dividends.
Chelsea FC is his most valuable British asset, after the oligarch transformed its fortunes from outside challengers to Premier League giants with the help of Jose Mourinho and huge signings like Didier Drogba.
But now he has been prohibited from transactions with UK individuals and businesses – meaning his plan to sell the West London club looks impossible. It could still go through provided the Government issues a licence if he asks for one, with lawyers claiming he would have to prove he would not benefit from the sale.
Effective immediately, Chelsea is banned from selling match tickets, signing new players and must even close its club shop. Shirt sponsor Three is already considering walking away from their £40million shirt deal.
In London, over the past fortnight his staff are said to have been ready for viewings at his 15-bedroom mansion at Kensington Palace Gardens, valued at more than £150m, and a three-storey penthouse at Chelsea Waterfront, worth an estimated £22m. These now cannot be sold off and cannot be rented unless tenants are already in.
His two superyachts may already be out of reach. £430million Solaris was moored in Barcelona a week ago but is now off the Sicily coast, believed to be heading to Israel, where he holds citizenship. The £540million Eclipse is currently in open sea off the coast of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
The billionaire recently bought a £264m Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner jet. The 50-seater aircraft is the world’s most expensive private jet with a base cost of £188m and a rumoured £76m of additional equipment to the billionaire’s taste, Forbes reported, citing industry sources. It was last tracked to Dubai six days ago. Meanwhile, his £50m Gulfstream G650ER jet – registration LX-Ray – was last seen in Ankara, Turkey, five days ago.
His £80m private jet nicknamed The Bandit, left Stansted Airport on February 25 – the day before a blanket ban on Russian aircraft in EU and UK airspace was imposed. It then landed in Switzerland. It is not clear if he or any of his family were on board.
He also owns a fleet of supercars valued at more than £16million, believed to be in the UK. Among the high end vehicles are a Porsche 911 GT1 Evo, a Ferrari FXX, a Aston Martin Vulcan and a Maserati MC12 Corsa. The fleet also includes a Pagani Zonda R, of which only 15 have ever been produced and come with a price tag of £2.5m.
Abramovich has seven children from two of his ex-wives. The eldest, Anna, 29, is a Columbia University philosophy graduate who lives in New York, while Arkadiy, 27, is an industrial tycoon with substantial oil and gas investments.
Sofia, 26, lives in London and the ‘wild child’ ‘of the family, recently posted a message on Instagram attacking Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. Less is known about Arina, 20, and Ilya, 18, or Aaron, 11 and Leah Lou, 7, who were both born in New York to his third wife, Dasha.
Abramovich’s current location is unknown, but he has recently been in Belarus ‘trying to help’ negotiate an end to Russia’s war against Ukraine following its illegal invasion of the country.
As pressure grows to punish anyone seen having aided Putin’s regime, here is a round-up of Abramovich’s assets in Britain, as well as yachts, cars and planes that are strewn across the world.
What assets does Roman Abramovich have in the UK?
Chelsea FC: £3bn
The West London club is the jewel of Abramovich’s empire, so his decision to put it up for sale for a reported £3bn – as revealed today – must have been personally painful.
Now that is impossible due to the sanctions.
It is understood that the Russian was targeting American buyers as investment from China, the Far East and Eastern Europe has dried up for clear political reasons, although there are major doubts that any potential buyer will meet his ambitious valuation.
American bank Raine Group is overseeing the sale, with prospective buyers given until just Friday to file ‘indicative bids’, the NY Times reported – suggesting Abramovich is keen to seal a quick deal.
Raine Group first acted for Chelsea in 2018 after talks with US private equity firm Silverlake and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe broke up without reaching an agreement.The club has effectively been for sale ever since due to Abramovich’s conflict with the UK government after the Home Office declined to issue him a visa, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine giving him fresh impetus to sell.
Abramovich wants a minimum of £3bn to sell Chelsea as he invites bids for the club. But there are emerging doubts that the Russian oligarch will receive anywhere near that mark.
There is a sense that securing an American buyer, potentially through a hedge fund, might be the best route towards a sale.
But Abramovich’s links with a Russian regime that has caused so much destruction in Ukraine could lead to reluctance from interested parties to deal with Chelsea.
Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, worth £4.3bn, claims he has been approached to consider buying Chelsea, potentially as part of a consortium.
‘Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,’ Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick.
‘I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. I have to wait four to five days now.
‘Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2 billion. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.’
However, there is doubt whether a consortium style takeover would have longevity given the huge financial demands expected at a club the size of Chelsea.
The Russian oligarch has spent time in the United Arab Emirates in recent weeks with a view to transferring part of his wealth there, Sportsmail understands.
Sources claim Abramovich believes Chelsea is worth north of £3bn – as much as £4bn – but selling it is now impossible.
It seems inevitable that the Russian businessman will have to lower his expectations, but whether anyone is willing to offer as high as the £3bn that he would consider is unclear.
Abramovich attempted to step back from the daily running of Chelsea on Saturday, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The oligarch has already tried to hand the ‘stewardship and care’ of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation trustees.
London property empire: £200m +
Chris Bryant claim in the Commons that Abramovich had been looking to sell ‘his home and a flat’ is thought to refer to his 15-bedroom mansion at Kensington Palace Gardens, valued at more than £150m, and a three-storey penthouse at Chelsea Waterfront, worth an estimated £22m.
Staff at his Kensington property, which is on the same road as several high-security embassies, were told to expect viewings, according to The Times. It is not clear yet if he managed it, but lawyers have said this would be unlikely.
Chinese buyers are said to have been interested in the mansion, but a sale could be a drawn out protracted affair given the cost and due diligence agents would have to carry out.
Abramovich has become a less frequent visitor to London in recent years following issues with his entrepreneurial visa. He has Israeli and Portuguese citizenship on top of being a Russian national.
His whereabouts are not known after he was reported to be in Belarus to assist as an unlikely broker in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine on Monday.
Abramovich’s London property portfolio is also said to include a flat in Cheyne Terrace, Chelsea, which was purchased for £8.75million in 2017 and includes a high-tech temperature-controlled wine cellar.
It is close to three other properties that overlook the Thames, bought for £25million, that he had once intended to knock together and turn into a £100million super-home.
However Abramovich, who made his money selling assets acquired from the state following the fall of the Soviet Union, scrapped the plan and sold up after he relented to local uproar.
Abramovich became an Israeli citizen in 2018 after his British visa expired and reportedly owns most of the properties through a holding company called Fordstam
And land registry records show that since the expiration of his visa he transferred 11 properties to the business.