Usmanov advisers edit Wikipedia profile in run-up to MegaFon listing

As reported in The Guardian’s sister Sunday paper, The Observer on 18 November 2012, in an article entitled Alisher Usmanov in spotlight over Wikipedia profile, the advisers of oligarch and Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov have tweaked his profile on Wikipedia, in particular in respect of his conviction by the Uzbek authorities and six-year prison sentence meted down in 1980.

This change  would appear to have been dictated by a desire to clean up his record for investors prior to the planned listing by MegaFon (in which Usmanov has a significant interest) on the London Stock Exchange, where another shareholder in the Russian mobile operator Swedish telco TeliaSonera plans to sell a 15 per cent interest for an estimated USD 1.7-2.1 billion.

The article provides more details on the charges that Usmanov faced and his contacts with the current Uzbek authorities. Nowadays Usmanov spends most of his time in Russia, where he has investments in precious metals, iron ore, steel, natural gas and various media, as well as a shareholding in the UK in the Premier League football club Arsenal.

According to recent articles in the Russian press, Usmanov may also end up playing a more significant role at nickel producer Norilsk Nickel, as he facilitates the dispute between the main shareholders Vladimir Potanin (Interros) and Oleg Deripaska (RusAl, Basic Element).

Usmanov is one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune valued at approximately USD 18.1 billion by Forbes in 2011.

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