Russian tycoon transferred a $1.3 billion investment from Cyprus to the BVI in the face of sanctions

According to widely published papers, Russian businessman Alexei Mordashov transferred $1.3 billion in shares in travel operator TUI to a British Virgin Islands entity despite the worldwide sanctions crackdown.

On February 28, a firm owned by Mordashov sold shares in tourism giant TUI.


Mordashov has faced sanctions from the European Union and the United Kingdom in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


According to Bloomberg, the oligarch's 29.9 percent share in TUI, which has twin stock exchange listings in Frankfurt and London, was sold to Ondero, a company associated with the oligarch.

Mordashov, a steel magnate, is Russia's second-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $22.3 billion.


Mordashov was TUI's largest stakeholder before to the share sale, with a 34% holding, and had been a shareholder for around 15 years, according to a news release issued by TUI shortly after he was sanctioned by the European Union.


Mordashov announced his resignation from TUI's board of directors on 2 March.


Mordashov acquired his share in TUI through Cyprus-based Unifirm, which is owned by entities controlled by Mordashov and his sons, Bloomberg reports.


He was one of the first billionaires pursued by the EU, with the EU noting his interests in Rossiya bank, dubbed the "personal bank" of Russia's senior authorities, and his ownership in television stations that contributed to Ukraine's destabilization through pro-Russia broadcasts.


Mordashov sold 29.9 percent of his Tui stock to Ondero Ltd, a British Virgin Islands-based company, Tui revealed in a regulatory filing and press release. At today's pricing, the shares are worth £1.1 billion. Tui stated that the remaining 4.1 percent was sold to the businessman's Severgroup investment entity in Russia. Tui stated that the transactions occurred four days prior, on 28 February – the day Modashov was added to the EU sanctions list.


Bloomberg reported last week that Mordashov's Ondero ownership remained "associated."


TUI said in a press release headlined 'CHANGE IN TUI'S SHAREHOLDER STRUCTURE' on 4 March:


"TUI has been informed through regulatory notifications that the ownership of its shareholder Unifirm Limited has changed and consequently the shareholder structure of the Group has changed. Accordingly, Unifirm Limited has sold a 4.13% stake in TUI AG to Severgroup LLC.


"Severgroup would therefore now hold 4.13% of TUI AG. The shares would be attributed to Mr. Mordashov. Unifirm Limited's share in TUI AG would have decreased to 29.87%.


"In this context, Mr. Alexey Mordashov has notified that his subsidiaries KN-Holding LLC and Rayglow Limited have sold their shares held in Unifirm Limited to Ondero Limited. TUI AG has meanwhile also received a voting rights notification from Ondero Limited regarding a corresponding acquisition."

By fLEXI tEAM