Russian tycoon Usmanov cuts stake in USM Holdings

MOSCOW, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov is selling through a share buyback a 10 percent stake in his holding company USM, whose interests include metals firm Metalloinvest and mobile phone operator MegaFon, but will remain its largest shareholder.

“USM Holdings Limited ... announces a share buyback involving the repurchase of 10 percent of USM’s shares from its majority shareholder, Alisher Usmanov,” USM said in a statement on Tuesday.

The United States and the European Union has imposed sanctions on some Russian companies and individuals over Moscow’s stance over Ukraine. Neither Usmanov nor his companies are on the current list of those parties affected.

USM said that Usmanov will remain its largest shareholder with a total voting power of 48 percent. A spokeswoman for USM said the buyback wasn’t linked in any way to current or any possible future sanctions.

USM said the shares will be allocated among and acquired by its senior executives, while Usmanov is planning to put the proceeds in an investment fund.

Some of Russia’s tycoons hit by western sanctions, including Gennady Timchenko, have been cutting their stakes in their businesses, in some cases ceding control to allies. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Greg Mahlich)


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