Blacklisted Russian businessman Rotenberg sells gas pipeline firm: spokeswoman

FILE PHOTO: Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg watches the competition of the 1st Jigoro Kano International Judo Tournament on the margins of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg, who has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014, has sold his gas pipeline construction firm Stroygazmontazh, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Stroygazmontazh has also been under U.S. sanctions since 2014 because it was owned by Rotenberg, President Vladimir Putin’s former judo sparring partner. Rotenberg was among the Russian officials and business executives blacklisted in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

A spokeswoman for Rotenberg said he planned to use the funds made in the sale to invest in Russia. She did not disclose the terms of the deal, the reason for the sale, nor to whom it has been sold.

RBC business daily reported on Thursday that the firm had been sold to construction company Gazstroyprom for some 75 billion roubles ($1.18 billion). Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM owns a 49% stake in Gazstroyprom, according to the SPARK database which aggregates data from business registries.

Gazstroyprom and Gazprom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien