Abramovich and his Russian business partners could lose more than £300 million on their investments in Truphone
UK eSIM company Truphone is reportedly being sold for £1 following sanctions imposed on Russian oligarch and part-owner of the business Roman Abramovich.
The company was previously valued at £410 million in 2020 and has received more than £300 million of investment from Abramovich and his business partners Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov.
Abramovich owns 23 per cent of Truphone, with Abramov and Frolov owning most of the rest, but the latter two have not been subjected to UK sanctions.
Abramovich was recently forced to sell Chelsea football club in a £4.25 billion deal, during a wave of sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs following the war in Ukraine.
It is widely reported that Hakan Koç, a German businessman who co-founder used-car company Auto1, will own 90 per cent of the company and his business associate Pyrros Koussios 10 per cent.
Sale conditions mean the current owners have agreed to invest over £10 million in the business and will receive up to a third of the funds they invested if the firm performs well, but those sanctioned are exempt from this part of the deal.
On earlier news stories linking Abramovich to Truphone, the company said in April: “It should be emphasised that Truphone is not subject to any sanctions.
“The business will continue to operate as usual, and we remain committed to delivering the highest quality of service to customers and partners, as well as ongoing support to its employees.”
At the time of publication, Truphone has not commented on the reported sale.
In April, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a fine of over $660,000 (£527,000) against Truphone for allegedly exceeding the statutory limits for ownership by foreign entities of interests in FCC-issued licences without Commission approval.