Russia’s richest man expands banking empire in face of sanctions
Sanctioned Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin is buying a stake in a digital bank for businesses and expanding his lending empire with the third such purchase since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Potanin’s Interros joined a consortium of investors that already controls about 10% of the digital-banking services provider Tochka. It will buy out the rest from Trust Bank, which controls the lender, according to a statement from the holding company Monday.
Interros purchased Societe Generale SA’s stake in Rosbank PJSC shortly after the war in Ukraine started when the French firm was seeking to sell and exit from Russia. Potanin, Russia’s richest man, later purchased Oleg Tinkov’s 35% stake in TCS Group Holding PLC, the parent for Tinkoff Bank, one of the country’s biggest retail banks.
Tochka, a lender to small and medium-size businesses, has 600,000 clients, according to its website. Trust Bank will sell 90% of Tochka to the group of investors that includes Interros for 41.5 billion rubles ($456 million), Prime newswire reported Monday, citing Trust Bank’s statement. The company said the deal is set to close in the third quarter, according to the report.
Potanin was sanctioned by the UK after buying the Rosbank stake. He was also placed on the U.S. blacklist at the end of last year. His wealth is estimated at about $28.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Before the Kremlin started its war with Ukraine, his stake in Russia’s largest miner, MMC Norilsk Nickel MMC, was his primary asset.