Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, whose fortune Forbes estimates at $13.3 billion (No. 2 in the list of the richest people of Russia), in an interview with the Financial Times commented on their investments in overseas projects. The Russian economy “is not in the best shape,” he said.
“Do not put all your eggs in one basket,” said Friedman.
According to him, Russia “needs to rebuild its economy to make it more open to investment, to competition.” Friedman also argued for reducing the dominance of state companies.
Journalist FT notes that the Western press “for years demonized” Friedman, with the result that he became the “symbol of everything that’s wrong with the Russian business”. The conflict of the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP with BP have damaged the reputation, acknowledged Friedman. “But in the end we won as shareholders of the company,” he said. Friedman now sees its mission to improve the image of the elite of the Russian business abroad, writes the FT. “It is our moral duty — to become a global player, to prove that the Russians may become an international businessman,” — said the billionaire.
FT called the deal to sell TNK-BP to Rosneft “remarkably timely”. For its part, Friedman said that really doesn’t understand the oil market. “In order to be successful in business, don’t need to be smart, you have to be lucky” — he explained.
The question is not whether he was planning to slow down after selling the share in TNK-BP, and maybe buy a yacht and football club, Roman Abramovich, Friedman laughed. Lying on the beach he called a “form of torture”. According to Friedman, a “kind of talent to spend money beautifully”. “I have not,” he said.
Friedman also stated that he did not intend to employ any of her four children in “the alpha-Groups” or LetterOne. “I don’t want to create a dynasty,” explained Friedman.
In 2013 Rosneft acquired the oil company TNK-BP from British BP and consortium AAR (“Alfa Group” headed by Mikhail Fridman, Renova group of Viktor Vekselberg and Access Industries of Leonard Blavatnik). The share of the Russian shareholders of the company was valued at $28 billion After the deal is announced the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that he personally would love to funds paid by Rosneft, have invested in the Russian economy.
After the sale of shares in TNK-BP, Mikhail Fridman and his partner German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev created the group LetterOne, an investment in the funds from the transaction. The group in 2015, has acquired the German energy company RWE Dea UK UK, which owns licenses for oil and gas field in the North sea. Six months later, LetterOne under pressure from the British government sold an asset of the Swiss Ineos. In the spring of 2015 Mikhail Fridman and his partners announced plans to invest $16 billion in telecommunications and technology companies of Europe and USA. In February it became known that LetterOne has invested $200 million in the service to order a taxi through the mobile app Uber.