Andrei Borodin, the embattled head of Bank of Moscow (MMBM.MM) and his advisor Lev Alalyev on Saturday admitted they have sold their 20.3 percent stake in the lender at a price much lower than $ 1.5 billion.
The stake is worth about $1.2-$1.5 billion, based on current market capitalization.
“We sold the stake at a much lower price,” Borodin told Ren-TV channel, adding that he would not have sold the stake at this price in calm conditions.
“The conditions of the contract, the certain price and so on and so force – this is the scope of the contract, we have no rights to disclose it,” Borodin said.
He did not comment on rumors that the stake was sold to Nordic Yards company which is owned by the son of former Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov.
Investigators have alleged that Borodin – currently undergoing medical treatment in the U.K. – granted an illegal $444 million loan to Yelena Baturina, wife of Yury Luzhkov, the Russian capital’s former mayor.
A politically-tinged fight for control over the Bank of Moscow has been going on since February, when Russia’s second largest bank, state-controlled VTB, announced a gradual acquisition of Luzhkov’s former investment vehicle. The Moscow government sold its stake in the bank to VTB after President Dmitry Medvedev fired Luzhkov last fall over a “lack of trust.
“I hope that the conflict related to the bank is already settled. The control [over the bank] is in the hands of VTB,” Borodin said.
Earlier in the day, Borodin reiterated that he has no plans to seek political asylum in the U.K. and said he hopes to eventually mend fences with Russia’s leaders.
MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti)