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Russian billionaire ‘loses half his fortune’ after ‘divorcing Vladimir Putin’s daughter’

When 32-year businessman Kirill Shamalov wed Vladimir Putin’s daughter in 2013, he suddenly found his fortunes on the rise – to the tune of $2 billion in shares and a lucrative post at a petrochemical giant.

But amid rumors of his separation from Katerina Tikhonova, Mr Shamalov appears to have been cast out of favour, demoted from his position as deputy chief executive at Sibur and his wealth halved.

News of the couple’s separation was reported by Bloomberg Thursday, citing four unidentified sources familiar with the situation.

Vedomosti, a respected Russian business newspaper, later published a screenshot of a Facebook post showing Mr Shamalov with a new girlfriend, Zhanna Volkova, a Moscow-born London socialite. 

The December 2017 post on Mr Shamalov’s private Facebook page features a photo taken with Ms Volkova, and a caption that reads “I love you.”

Katerina Tikhonova, widely believed to be Vladimir Putin’s daughter

 Nevar inc.

Neither Mr Shamalov’s wedding to Ms Tikhonova nor their reported separation have been publicly confirmed.

The lives of Putin’s two daughters Katerina and Marina, are one of the biggest off-limits topics in the Russian media.

Despite several reports claiming to have identified Ms Tikhonova, a professional acrobatic rock’n’roll dancer, as Putin’s daughter, the Kremlin has never confirmed.

Bloomberg’s sources refused to say whether the couple is legally divorced.

A photo published by Vedomosti of Kirill Shamalov with his apparent new girlfriend, and a caption reading “I love you”

However, Mr Shamalov’s fortunes — which soared to over $2 billion after his reported, but unconfirmed wedding — have taken a hit.

In April of last year, Mr Shamalov sold off his 21.3 percent share in Sibur. The circumstances surrounding the sale were never disclosed, Bloomberg reported, but one source said Mr Shamalov made “zero” off the transaction.

Mr Shamalov was promoted to deputy chief executive officer at Sibur in 2012, and was given a 4.3 percent share in the company by its main owners.

In 2014, at age 32, he purchased an additional 17 percent share with a loan from the state-owned Gazprombank.

Miss Volkova is a Moscow-born London socialite


But the wealth accumulated from his rise through the ranks of Sibur was described by one Bloomberg source as a kind of trust, a privilege that came from membership in Russia’s first family.

Three sources said those ownership privileges ended with the marriage.

A source close to Mr Shamalov told Bloomberg that his losses had nothing to do with his marriage or relationship to the Putin family.

According to this source, his purchase of an additional 17 percent of Sibur was part of a move he made with his father.

The two “barely broke even” when the investment didn’t go as planned, the source said. Mr Shamalov declined to comment to Bloomberg via a representative.

Requests for comment to Ms Tikhonova and the Kremlin went unanswered.

Regardless of the cause for Mr Shamalov’s decline in fortune, he remains among Russia’s wealthy business elite.

According to Bloomberg, his wealth remains valued at $800 million. This is due mainly to the 3.9 percent of Sibur he still owns.

But that estimate doesn’t take into account any interest he may have accrued on the loan from Gazprombank, nor any losses from the divorce.

Without a prenuptial agreement, Russian law entitles spouses to half of all assets gained during marriage.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/26/russian-billionaire-loses-half-fortune-divorcing-vladimir-putins/

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