Russian Billionaire Abramovich’s Telecom Company Worth $500 Million Is Being Sold for $1

Roman Abramovic
Roman Abramovic

The Roman Abramovich-owned British telecom firm is being sold to two European tech entrepreneurs for about $1, The Times reported.

Truphone, valued at $512 million ($410 million) in 2020, has received almost $375 million of investment from Abramovich and two business partners, Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov. According to the newspaper, Abramovich owns 23% of the company. 

Truphone hired the advisory firm FRP in April to review its “strategic options” following the sanctions imposed on the former owner of Chelsea FC.

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One of the two entrepreneurs is Hakan Koc; he was one of the preferred bidders for Truphone, according to The Times.

Nonetheless, rivals are concerned about Koc’s links to Frolov as his used car marketplace Auto1 has received funds from a firm run by Frolov’s son. 

Koc would own 90% of Truphone while his business associate, a former telecom executive and private equity investor, Pyrros Koussios, would own 10% of the company, the Financial Times reported. Truphone provides electronic SIM cards for companies and consumers.