Vladimir Antonov is a Russian tycoon who made his fortune building a banking empire amid the collapse of Russia’s economy in 1998.He was worth an estimated $300 million in 2007 (the most recent figure available), making him the 182nd wealthiest person in Russia at the time.
In recent years, he has bought up sports teams and invested in auto companies.
And now, he’s seeking to invest some $400 million in gold mines around the world, most recently planning a bid for a stake in Dzheruy, a gold deposit in Kyrgyzstan that’s estimated to contain some 2.4 million ounces of gold, according to Bloomberg (via FT Tilt).
Here’s what you need to know about 36-year-old Antonov:
He loves sports and is buying up sports teams and companies.
The London-based banker purchased the Portsmouth Football Club for an undisclosed sum this fall, saying he hopes to return the club to the Premier League.
The sports arm of his company, Convers, also recently purchased the parent company of the high-profile “Leaders in Football” conference and has a controlling interest in PowerPlay Golf.
And he owns both a basketball team in Lithuania and Spartak Moscow, one of the oldest football clubs in Russia.
He’s also investing in auto companies.
Antonov’s other passion is cars. He bought a 30% stake and joined the board of Dutch company Spyker Cars in 2007, but was forced to sell those shares as a condition of GM’s sale of Saab to Spyker.
He also sought to invest $143 million in Saab but was blocked by the European Investment bank, a decision that was reinforced this week.
Soon after, he published an op-ed piece in The New York Times arguing that American companies’ fears of accepting money from Russian investors were misplaced.
He’s got a big internet presence.
Antonov has a Twitter account that he actively used while pursuing an investment in Saab.
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