194 thoughts on “Alisher Usmanov

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  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Quite right Kempe- the collusion is a hypothesis which requires proof. That proof usually requires evidence under oath. In this paradigm one can only hold a belief. Time is easily wasted on debating belief.

    What is interesting is how a government conspiracy theory such as the statement in UK Parliament that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that could strike UK assets within 45 minutes, it also convinced the British judiciary that war with Iraq was necessary and vital.

    That war maimed and killed over one million children.

    A conspiracy theory I clarified here in early 2012 that the ‘Arab Spring’ in Syria was subverted, sabotaged and undermined by foreign governments directing foreign terrorists, has been proven. (see MSM)

    That war has displaced a few million Syrians and killed nearly 100,000 civilians.

    Small fry compared to the ‘attack’ on America.

    I present Professor John McMurtry life value analysis (thank-you).


  • Komodo

    @ Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    20 May, 2013 – 5:18 pm

    Has he history? Not really. He’s gay, came out a couple of years ago, and according to his own account at least one of the men he is alleged to have raped was until very recently on good terms with him – the alleged rape being some years ago. One possibility is that Inspector Knacker is taking his revenge on the Tories for allegedly being called a pleb by Andrew Mitchell (qv). Bear in mind that whereas Congress behaves like a Texas cattle market, Parliament (pbui) is more like a primary school at playtime. With knives.

  • Komodo

    Evans – a third accuser has turned up:

    Mr Evans, 55, was arrested in his ­Lancashire constituency a ­fortnight ago and questioned for 12 hours over claims that he had raped one man and ­sexually assaulted another.

    He has said the accusations are “completely false” and spoken of his “incredulity” at the claims of the two men – who he had “regarded as friends”.

    The third alleged victim, who is in his 20s, is said to have come forward as a result of publicity about the initial arrest.

    The man claimed to ­Lancashire police that he was attacked by the Conservative ­politician in the Commons two years ago.


    Not to prejudge the matter, but aren’t some Tories rather against Cameron’s obsession with gay weddings? And might they…no, forget it.

    BTW, is Lord (Not Swivel-Eyed) Feldman by any chance related to the late Marty (Hallucinatorily Swivel-Eyed) Feldman? Just wondered.

  • Elizabeth Morley

    In case you didn’t get round to reading the email I sent you yesterday, Craig, here is my translation:

    This is how the Russians are taking over the internet
    The hottest web 2 companies of 2010-2011 rose within a few years from zero to businesses with assets valued at several milliard dollars. Instead of the stock exchange they opted for private investors when they needed money. And the biggest investor of all the three, and at the same time their part-owner, is a mysterious Russian firm, Digital Sky Technologies.

  • April Showers

    Komodo Your D Mail link… Hilarious. If only it had been filmed.

    ‘Lord Feldman’s importance to Mr Cameron, who has publicly described him as ‘one of my oldest and best friends’, was emphasised when he was tasked with ‘prepping’ the PM for his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

    He played the role of Robert Jay, the counsel for the inquiry, by peppering Mr Cameron with likely questions about his relationship with newspaper owners.’

    Interesting that B.Liar has/had Lord Levy as his tennis partner and Agent Cameron has Lord Feldman as his.



    and they hide the loot away in the three C&U CO companies, (Conservative and Unionist Central Office I assume)




    Moran and Fink each have many directorships.

    Moran has a pretentious website. http://www.christophermoran.org/profile/


  • April Showers

    His ‘background’ according to the Mail. He must hate seeing this sort of thing in the papers.

    Tories’ new best friend is bold as brass
    By Andrew Pierce
    UPDATED: 07:38, 4 October 2010

    The debonair businessman Christopher Moran is a shining example to the Tory Party faithful of how it is possible to rise from the most humble beginnings to multi-millionaire status.

    He owns a magnificent 15th-century 30-room townhouse on the banks of the Thames in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, and a 48,000-acre sporting estate in Scotland.

    Grammar school-educated Moran, 62, acquired these ostentatious symbols of wealth through hard work, having made his first million by the age of 21. He’s also broken the rules.

    He has been censured several times by the London Stock Exchange for a series of controversial share purchases and holds the dubious privilege of being the first person to be debarred for life by Lloyd’s of London.

    He was also convicted of insider trading in the U.S. and fined $2 million.

    Yet there was Moran, bold as brass, if you’ll pardon the pun, at a fundraising dinner at London’s Dorchester Hotel the other day with David Cameron. So much for Cameron’s pledge to clean up party political funding.

    It was Moran who masterminded the £30 million sale of Conservative Central Office, the historic backdrop to Margaret Thatcher’s three election victories.

    It’s not as if he sneaked in via the tradesmen’s entrance. Moran was on the same table as Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister who is a key Cameron ally. What nice company Dave’s ministers keep.

    Hardly surprising, though, when David Rowland, the man Cameron chose to be the new party treasurer this year, had to quit before he even took up the job because of his ‘shady’ business dealings.


  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Komodo @ 2;44

    Lord Feldman is like Billy to his brother Jimmy Carter. Loose cannons…..clear the decks !

  • Kempe

    “In this paradigm one can only hold a belief. Time is easily wasted on debating belief.”

    That is the problem. I see people increasingly settle on a belief then look for any information that will support that belief. I’m a bit old fashioned and still take the scientific approach of knowledge based on evidence.

  • resident dissident

    Usmanov is very clearly a creature of Putin and his KGB old boys nexus. What is interesting is how he will work with Putin to get a rather more Putin friendly clone in place in Uzbekistan when Karimov pops his clogs – and the compromises or otherwise they will come to with Gulnara and others who have stolen most of the assets of Uzbekistan. My guess is that the latter will be offerred a you can keep some of your assets providing you stay out of politics and let us develop the main assets deal as happened in Russia.

  • Indigo


    Tried our best … the article wasn’t terribly well written and there were lots of new internet technical words unknown to him (and English-Hungarian dictionaries, I might add!) What you find here is a translation of what we felt was the general meaning – not accurate word for word. I omitted the potted history of Usmanov (already well known)and cross referenced with web articles to check that our understanding was accurate.

    Have also added web articles I found that give more info.

    PS Don’t think my husband is speaking to me!

    “(Didn’t translate the gushing introduction)
    Milner appears to have a knack of identifying online companies whose potential has not yet been recognised but is known to receive insider information on a regular basis. DST is aggressive in acquisitions generally paying high prices; it has been known to invest hundreds of millions in a week.
    In May 2009 DST took a 2% stake in Facebook for 200 million dollars. In two years the evaluation of Facebook had increased to 50 billion dollars and DST had increased their share at this point to 10% by the means of buying share options from employees.
    Milner invested 180 million dollars in the ‘Farmville’ game played on Facebook whose value is now over 9 billion dollars. Last spring 135 million dollars invested in Groupon acquired a 10% stake; the company today is evaluated at 15 billion dollars on the stock market and recently it has invested 100 million dollars in Spotify, an online music service. *
    Prior to DST embarking on acquisitions of technology service companies on the English language internet Milner companies had already dominated the Russian net.
    In 1999 Milner founded his first technology investment firm, Netbridge, with a view to establishing a foothold and then expanding into the Russian net. He took inspiration from US online services which he then either copied or, if they already existed in Russia, bought. He invested heavily in them ensuring that the competition was out-gunned. Some of these companies were: molotok.ru (Russian eBay), vkontakte.ru (Russian Facebook), mail.ru (Russian Gmail) osmp.ru (Russian Paypal).* *
    It is estimated that today around 70-75% of the Russian speaking internet page views occur on sites owned by DST.
    Haven’t translated the following four paragraphs that state at the beginning that Usmanov is behind him and then go into general, well known detail of his football club ownership, his listing with Forbes, his hold over Russian media, his relationship with Putin et al, Gazprom and elements of his criminal history. (It’s already well known.)
    Interestingly, although the company’s major shareholders are Milner, Usmanov and Tencent (a major Chinese internet giant) the aggressive expansion of DST has not appeared to engender any resentment in America as only ICQ are regarded by national security agencies as being a potential risk if in Russian hands. (Not sure of next sentence but appears to be an example of the insouciance of the US government regarding Russian shareholding in Facebook).
    And DST have recently announced an additional 1 billion dollars ear-marked for investment in start-up web companies … more than 50 of these companies are watching closely, waiting for the right moment, for a bid that can’t be refused”.

    to be continued …

  • Indigo

    *In January 2009, Milner, head of a then-obscure investment fund called Digital Sky Technologies, flew from Moscow to California, offered Mark Zuckerberg $200 million for a 2% stake in Facebook Inc. and flew back. He attached few if any of the strings a more seasoned venture capitalist would claim: no board seat, no army of accountants combing through the books, no tortuous legal agreements. The old crowd on Sand Hill Road ridiculed him as a nouveau riche hayseed. Today? Not so much.
    The $10 billion valuation Milner put on the social network famously grew to $50 billion by January 2011 when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought in with its own innovative structure. Milner’s DST, which kept buying bits in the interim, had by then amassed 10% of Facebook for an estimated $800 million, delivering a paper profit over two years of $4.2 billion. By the time Goldman arrived on the scene, Milner had cashed out much of his equity, and the majority owner of the Facebook investment was metals billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
    Milner has ridden a still more powerful speculative wave with online discount arranger Groupon Inc. In April 2010, DST put in most of a $135 million financing round that reportedly valued the company at about $1 billion. By December Groupon was fending off a $5 billion-plus acquisition offer from Google Inc., and the latest news is it could go public at $25 billion. In between, in December 2009, Milner poured $180 million into Zynga Inc., which controls the “FarmVille” game played via Facebook. “Yuri has the conviction of his trades,” says a Moscow expatriate who has known him since the 1990s. “In a rising market, that can be a great benefit.”
    Milner, 49, is not an oligarch. He never wangled an oil company or iron mine from the Kremlin at knockdown prices or formed a private army to protect his family. But he has been close to two of the richest and toughest of them. In the 1990s he worked for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who acquired Yukos Oil Co. and later gained fame as Russian business’ most famous martyr to then-President Vladimir Putin. (Khodorkovsky received a second long jail sentence while Google was courting Groupon last December.) Milner’s financial partner now is Usmanov, who served six years himself in an Uzbek prison on a conviction that was later overturned. Usmanov then built a Russian metals empire worth an estimated $17.7 billion while simultaneously heading an arm of OAO Gazprom, the state-owned natural gas monopoly. A native Muscovite, Milner was in a sense born to be a bridge between Russian and Western business. His father was an expert in American management, one of a select coterie of Soviet intellectuals cleared for exposure to such exotic knowledge. Young Yuri studied physics at the prestigious Moscow State University during the 1980s. In the early ’90s, he took an M.B.A. at the Wharton School and worked for three years at the World Bank in Washington.
    A native Muscovite, Milner was in a sense born to be a bridge between Russian and Western business. His father was an expert in American management, one of a select coterie of Soviet intellectuals cleared for exposure to such exotic knowledge. Young Yuri studied physics at the prestigious Moscow State University during the 1980s. In the early ’90s, he took an M.B.A. at the Wharton School and worked for three years at the World Bank in Washington.
    Khodorkovsky brought him back to Russia in 1995 to head a would-be investment bank called Alliance-Menatep CJSC. Conspicuously short and whip-smart, in the brawny new world of Moscow money, Milner relied on nerve and a silver tongue. “Yuri was always very persuasive in English or Russian,” a colleague at the time recalls. “He is half my size, but several times he talked us out of situations in nightclubs that might have become really dangerous.”
    Alliance-Menatep blew up after the Russian financial crisis of 1998. While his own country spun into renewed chaos, Milner again looked West. Observing the raging dot-com boom, he decided it would eventually reach Russia. He managed to raise $2.25 million from New Century Holdings Inc., a New York-based investor that was an early believer in Russia, added $750,000 of his own savings and launched a tech investment fund called NetBridge.
    Milner backed a few Russian clunkers — an Amazon clone called 24×7 proved ahead of its time in a country without credit cards — but by the mid-2000s he was on to a good thing with Mail.ru, the country’s top portal, which has since incorporated the most popular online games, too. He bought out the Russian-language version of Classmates.com, Odnoklassniki.ru, and acquired 33% of Vkontakte (“In Contact”), a social networking site that is locally eating the lunch of — Facebook. Milner bundled these properties into Mail.ru Group Ltd. and raised $912 million in a London IPO last November, one more triumph.
    But it was partnering with metals billionaire Usmanov in 2008 that gave Milner global reach. Usmanov bought 27% of Mail.ru for $350 million. (The company’s current capitalization is more than $6 billion). He also backed a new private equity fund called DST Global, reportedly controlling 75% of it. Most of the Facebook holding, 7.6% of the company’s outstanding shares, has been acquired by this vehicle. The remaining 2.4% stake belongs to Mail.ru.
    Son of a top Uzbek Communist-era official, Usmanov, now 57, studied at the ultra-elite Moscow State Institute for International Relations. Back home in Uzbekistan in 1980, he was charged in an official bribery conspiracy and incarcerated until 1986. Usmanov has insisted he was framed, and a court expunged his criminal record in 1989.
    He emerged in 2000 as head of Gazprominvest, an arm of Gazprom, which was swapping unpaid bills for equity stakes in deadbeat factories. About the same time, Usmanov started acquiring a string of iron ore foundries and steel mills with private partners through a vehicle called Gazmetall, now merged into the Metalloinvest holding. Among the high officials whose ear Usmanov is supposed to have: President Dmitri Medvedev, who chaired Gazprom before his promotion to head of state.
    Milner lost control of his business when he brought in Usmanov and Naspers Group, a South African media company that bought a big chunk of Mail.ru back in 2006. Milner cashed out most of his remaining stake in the public vehicle during last year’s IPO. All the company’s founders and managers together now own less than 12%, according to Mail.ru’s website.
    In return for selling his equity, Milner got up to $1 billion of Usmanov’s cash to dangle before the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, and he lost no time putting it to work. His low-maintenance investment style has made him an instant favorite among tech entrepreneurs. “DST is just cool,” raves Groupon CEO Andrew Mason.
    Milner departed from standard private equity procedure again this January, showering (dribbling, by his standards) $150,000 on each of 43 companies that completed the annual incubation program at Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator. His partner in this mass seeding was famed “super angel” Ron Conway.
    Financiers counter that standard crabby due diligence serves a purpose and wonder whether Milner’s model is sustainable past a few bold early strokes. “Allowing people to take big money off the table before the IPO arguably encourages them to pay less attention to the business,” says Bernard Sucher, a veteran expat Moscow banker who is now a board member at Aton Capital brokerage there. “It also breaks the model that your VCs get just as rich as you.”
    Milner also looks less cool to colleagues in the narrow circle of Russian Internet players. People close to Yandex, the search engine that has beaten back Google to become Russia’s top online company (Mail.ru is No. 2) complain that Milner has pressured them toward an unwanted merger, deploying as leverage Usmanov’s deep pockets and implied state connections. One Yandex source likens Milner to “The Social Network” version of Zuckerberg without Zuck’s good points: “Compared to the movie character, I would say Milner lacks the fresh-faced charm.”
    The Digital Sky founder also faces revolt from Vkontakte shareholders against his presumed desire to fold that burgeoning site into Mail.ru. Vkontakte’s founding CEO, Pavel Durov, recently published an open letter describing such a merger as “utopian.” Ironically, Milner’s fantastic success with Facebook may be jacking up the price he and/or Mail.ru has to pay for the Russian copy.
    But if Facebook and Groupon do go public at anything like currently discussed prices, all that will be a footnote to two very lucrative investment calls. Even if Milner and Usmanov never repeat success on such a scale, they have opened the door to global tech investing for other Russian billionaires used to trusting their instincts and taking big swings.
    Next in line, oligarch watchers speculate, may be Mikhail Prokhorov, another metals magnate who is still richer than Usmanov with $18.8 billion of net worth, much of it in cash. Prokhorov already owns Russian financial information service RBC and his own social network, Snob.ru.
    Unlike Milner, Prokhorov looks for takeover targets that are in distress. He used the financial crisis for acquisitions as varied as the last-place New Jersey Nets basketball team and liquidity-starved Moscow investment bank Renaissance Group. He may well swoop in when tech bubble 2.0 bursts.

    to be continued …

  • Indigo

    **Following a private equity model, he bought Russian companies that resembled popular American start-ups, like 24×7, an e-commerce company akin to Amazon, and Molotok, an auction site. The biggest coup came in 2001, when NetBridge merged with Port.ru, Russia’s largest e-mail service, to form Digital Sky Technologies. The business, a mix of Russian Internet companies and United States investments, was broken up last year into DST Global and Mail.ru, which went public in November with a market value of $5.7 billion based on its offer price. At the time, Mail.ru was described as the largest publicly held Internet company in Europe.

    Further info and links:
    FORTUNE — Yuri Milner’s top dealmaker has quit to launch his own firm, Fortune has learned.
    Alexander Tamas originally joined Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies in 2008, after having previously worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs (GS). His primary responsibility was international expansion, including DST’s investments in such companies as Alibaba, Airbnb, Facebook (FB), Groupon (GRPN), Spotify and Twitter.
    Tamas also worked on the build-up and $7 billion IPO of Mail.Ru Group, where he also sat on the board of directors.



    Hope it helps … that you had great time in Edinburgh and that you gained converts to the cause. (Fred is a hopeless case, though!)

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