Dmitry Rybolovlev: Russian Billionaire, AS Monaco Owner, and Art Collector
Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire born in 1966 in Perm, Russia, gained prominence through his control of Uralkali, one of the world’s largest producers of potash fertilizers. With a background as a cardiologist, Rybolovlev transitioned into the business world during Russia’s privatization era. His association with Elvira Nabiullina, a former economic advisor to Putin, further elevated his status.
Uralkali and Business Endeavors
In 2010, Rybolovlev sold his shares in Uralkali for a staggering US$ 6.5 billion to Suleiman Kerimov. Later, in December 2011, he acquired a two-thirds stake in the French football club AS Monaco. He also owns a 9.7% stake in the Bank of Cyprus, for which he paid $295 million.
Net Worth and Luxurious Assets
Rybolovlev’s impressive net worth is estimated at US$ 7 billion. He owns an Airbus private jet named M-KATE after his daughter Katerina and a luxury yacht Anna named after his other daughter, Anna.
Art Collection and High-Profile Sales
As an avid art collector, Rybolovlev made headlines in 2018 when he sold Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting at Christie’s in New York for a record-breaking US$450.3 million. The buyer was the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who had been in a bidding war with the UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The high bidding price led Sheikh Mansour to gift his yacht Topaz to the Crown Prince as compensation.
World’s Most Expensive Divorce Settlement
In 2014, a Swiss court ordered Rybolovlev to pay his ex-wife Elena Rybolovleva $4.5 billion in what was dubbed ‘the world’s most expensive divorce settlement’. However, in 2015, the court significantly reduced the settlement to $600 million, and the couple later reached an amicable agreement.
Offshore Companies, Real Estate, and Citizenship
Rybolovlev’s name appeared in the Panama Papers, revealing his use of offshore companies for various transactions. He acquired Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate, Maison de L’Amitié, and Skorpios Island in Greece. He also holds Cyprus citizenship.
Philanthropy and Charitable Activities
In addition to his business endeavors,Rybolovlev is also known for his philanthropic and charitable activities. He supports various causes, such as education, healthcare, and cultural initiatives, both in Russia and internationally. His contributions have made a significant impact on the lives of many people and have helped to promote cultural understanding and appreciation.
Controversy and Legal Issues
Rybolovlev faced controversy in 2018 when he was charged by Monaco prosecutors in connection to a probe into corruption and influence peddling. His La Belle Epoque penthouse was raided by Monaco police. He was accused of using his wealth and power to influence local officials to have Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier arrested, pushing for Bouvier’s prosecution in relation to art purchases. Rybolovlev’s lawyers expressed regret over the breach of confidentiality of the inquiry.
In conclusion, Dmitry Rybolovlev is a Russian billionaire with a diverse portfolio, from controlling Uralkali to owning the AS Monaco football club. His vast art collection and involvement in high-profile sales have garnered significant media attention, as well as his record-breaking divorce settlement. Despite some controversies, Rybolovlev continues to be a significant figure in the worlds of business, sports, and art.
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