So that's what Roman Abramovich spends all his money on...

Media-shy Chelsea owner forced to reveal wealth as he stands for election

Shaun Walker
Thursday 17 February 2011 01:00

Roman Abramovich revealed yesterday that his vast wealth includes seven residences in the United Kingdom, three in France, 38,000 square feet of property outside Moscow, two BMWs, three Mercedes – and a Volkswagen Golf.

Mr Abramovich stated that he earned £3m last year, and that he has around £72m in cash in his various bank accounts. He is also the owner of several businesses, the most famous of which, of course, is Chelsea Football Club. Earlier this week, Russia's Finans magazine published its list of the 500 richest Russians, and, for the first time, Mr Abramovich was not in the top three. He was pushed down to fifth place, with an estimated wealth of $17.1bn (£10.7bn) and replaced in third place by Alisher Usmanov, the metals magnate and Arsenal shareholder.

Many, including Finans, have estimated Mr Abramovich's wealth, but yesterday's declaration was the first time the notoriously media-shy oligarch has had to provide an official list of his wealth and possessions.

All Russians standing for public office are now required to release an income and property declaration, and Mr Abramovich's figures were released because he is standing for election to the regional parliament in Chukotka.

Mr Abramovich was formerly the Governor of the far-eastern Russian region, which sits across the Bering Strait from Alaska, but stepped down in 2008. Since then, he has been chairman of the regional parliament, representing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, and he will soon stand for re-election, which he is likely to achieve easily.

The other candidates on the list for the Chukotka regional parliament had more modest incomes last year. The Communist Party's candidate, Vladimir Yetylin, had an income of about £25,000 in 2010, and in the "means of transport" column listed a 1987 Nissan and a motor boat from 1992.

But there was not even an aging motor boat for Mr Abramovich, who listed nothing other than seven automobiles in the "means of transport" column. There was no mention of the extravagant yachts for which the oligarch has become famous, nor of a private jet. This raised eyebrows, given that Mr Abramovich owns the Eclipse, which is one of the world's biggest yachts and is equipped with all imaginable luxuries as well as helipads, a mini submarine for emergencies and a laser system for fighting off the lenses of paparazzi.

He also owns a Boeing 767, which Finans magazine last year said was the most expensive private jet in Russia, furnished at an estimated cost of $100m (£62m). John Mann, Mr Abramovich's spokesman, declined to elaborate yesterday on how many planes and yachts his boss owns, saying only that the information had not been required as part of the income declaration. "The headings published on the website are different from those on the actual form," Mr Mann said. "That column was just for automobiles."

Mr Abramovich's property includes: a mansion on Lowndes Square in London; villas on St Barts, the exclusive French territory in the Caribbean; a ranch in Colorado; two properties in Chukotka, which he uses during working visits; and a vast mansion on the outskirts of Moscow, which Mr Mann said is his primary home.

Mr Mann said that he hoped the published list would stop journalists linking other properties around the world to the oligarch. "This is a complete list and will hopefully aid the press in refraining from reporting about other supposed assets that actually have no link to Mr Abramovich," Mr Mann said.

Unfortunately, there were no answers to one of the biggest mysteries. Mr Mann said he had no comment on the origin of the Volkswagen Golf, or on whether Mr Abramovich liked to drive it himself.

Roman's empire

28 properties (nine houses, seven flats and 12 plots of land). Of his seven flats, one is in Chukotka's capital, Anadyr, and the rest are in Britain. It has been reported the flats are located in Lowndes Square, Belgravia and are worth £120-150m

7 cars including BMWs, Mercedes, a Range Rover and a surprisingly modest Volkswagen Golf , which starts at £13,610

...and we already knew about the Boeing 767-300 worth £102m...

...the world's largest private yacht, the 164m 'Eclipse', which cost around £675m...

...and of course Fernando Torres, bought for £50m

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