Vladimir Putin‘s son-in-law bought $380million of shares in a top Russian chemicals firm for just $100 after marrying the president’s daughter Katerina, a report by an investigative outlet says.
Kirill Shamalov bought the stake in petrochemicals giant Sibur at a massively reduced rate months after marrying Putin’s younger daughter, according to the investigation by iStories.
Putin’s private life is so secretive that the Kremlin has never even confirmed the identities of his daughters, although the US government has named Shamalov as Putin’s son-in-law and a member of the country’s ‘billionaire elite’.
Responding to the latest reports, the Kremlin said the investigations into Putin’s family were ‘lies that are unable to reach their goal’.
Katerina Tikhonova (left), an acrobatic dancer widely believed to be Vladimir Putin’s younger daughter, married businessman Kirill Shamarov (right) in 2013 and he is reported to have bought discounted shares in a petrochemicals firm soon afterwards. In 2018, reports said the pair had split, and Shamarov was linked to socialite Zhanna Volkova (pictured with Shamarov)
The investigative report said that Shamalov had bought a 3.8 per cent stake of a company valued at $10billion, meaning the market value of his shares was around $380million.
However, the $100 that he allegedly paid would have been 3.8million times less than this estimated market value.
The deal was thought to have helped make Shamalov the youngest billionaire in Russia at the age of just 32.
Only months earlier he was believed to have married Katerina Tikhonova, who does not use Putin’s name, in a ceremony held under tight security at a ski resort.
The investigative outlet said details of the transaction had come to light via a leaked trove of emails which included Shamalov’s own correspondence.
The chemicals firm did not deny the terms of the deal, but said there were ‘no exclusive conditions for Shamalov’, according to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
‘The conditions of the purchase… didn’t differ from the conditions of purchases by other managers,’ said company chairman Dmitry Konov.
But iStories claimed that other managers had paid far more substantial sums for their stakes in the petrochemical firm.
Vladimir Putin, pictured in Moscow today, keeps his private life secret and little is known about his friends or family
Putin critic Alexei Navalny – who was poisoned earlier this year with what Germany said was the nerve agent Novichok – said in response to the report: ‘Putin’s daughter got married, and the newlyweds received $380million for the wedding’.
Shamalov’s investment in Sibur was previously reported by the US government in 2018, which said his fortunes had ‘drastically improved’ after his marriage and named him on a list of 17 ‘oligarchs’.
‘Within 18 months, he acquired a large portion of shares of Sibur, a Russia-based company involved in oil and gas exploration, production, processing, and refining,’ the Treasury Department said.
After buying more shares from another Putin associate, Shamalov ‘joined the ranks of the billionaire elite around Putin’, US officials said.
Shamalov was reported to have split from Katerina in 2018 and has since been linked to glamorous socialite Zhanna Volkova.
The Russian president divorced his wife Lyudmila in 2013, but his private life is scarcely mentioned by most of the Russian media, with little known about his family.
The Kremlin website says that Putin’s older daughter Maria was born in 1985, and Katerina in 1986.
Under the name Katerina Tikhonova, the president’s younger daughter is known to have competed as an acrobatic dancer in the past.
Putin has previously said: ‘I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.’