Born September 9, 1953 in the city Chust of the Namangan region, Uzbekistan SSR. In 1976, he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (”MGIMO”), International Law department. After graduation, Usmanov worked as a junior researcher at the Center of Scientific Information in the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Uzbek SSR; he was a senior consultant for the Central Committee of Komsomol of Uzbekistan, Director General of Foreign Trade Association of the Soviet Committee for Defense of Peace (“SKZM”).
In the late 1980's, he engaged in intense business activities. According to several media sources, in those years Usmanov was vice-president of Uzbek-Belgian joint venture "Vita" (Tashkent).
In 1990-1994 he worked as first deputy general director of JSC "Intercross" (according to other sources, he was president of JSC "Intercross"). In December 1992, he acted as the founder of the Moscow OOO "Company 'Bars' (Moscow)”, in June 1993 he became head of the finance and investment company AOZT "PRNB-Invest” (a subsidiary of the First Russian National Bank).
In August 1994, he became the founder of the AOZT "Goldkross”.
In 1994-1995 he was adviser to the director of the Moscow Aircraft Production Association (“MAPO”). In 1995 he became first deputy chairman of the MAPO-Bank. In 1994-1998, he led the Interbank Investment -financial company “Interfin" (ZAO "MIFK Interfin"), one of its founders was MAPO-Bank.
In 1997 he graduated from Finance Academy under the Government of Russia with a degree in Banking.
In 1997-2001, served in the Board of Directors of OAO “Arkhangelskgeoldobycha” (“AGD”) (according to other sources, in 1997 he became a member of the Board of Directors of "AGD-Invest", and in 1998 - joined the Board of Directors in AGD.
In 1998 he became first deputy general director of OOO “Gazprominvestholding”, and in February 2000 he was appointed CEO of the holding.
In 1999 he became a member of the Board of Directors of ZAO "Arkhangelsk Almazy” (“Arkhangelsk diamonds”).
Starting from November 2000 to July 2001 was an adviser to chairman of Gazprom, Rem Vyakhirev.
In January 2005, he became co-owner of ZAO “Metalloinvest” - the former management company of Mikhailovsky GOK (“Mining and Processing Combine”) (MGOK), which had need acquired by Usmanov shortly before.
In August 2006, Usmanov became the owner of the publishing house "Kommersant" (he acquired both the media and the property owned by "Kommersant" with total area of 7.5 thousand square meters in Moscow and St. Petersburg). "Media holding" is listed as the owner of Kommersant – it is a registered overseas personal company of Usmanov. In December 2006, PB "Kommersant" and the company Metalloinvest also purchased some assets of PB "Sekret firmy” (“The secret of the company") with its magazines: "The secret of the company," "You have got the right", "All is clear", and the online newspaper Gazeta.ru.
On June 22, 2007 it became known that Usmanov had bought 75 % stake of the music channel “Muz-TV”. On August 30, 2007 he became co-owner of the London soccer club “Arsenal”. On September, 6 the businessman bought the American company Films by Jove and gave VGTRK the right to run 550 Soviet cartoons in the world (including "Cheburashka", "Snow Queen", "Mowgli", "Hedgehog in the Fog"). According to some reports, the amount of the transaction amounted to 5.10 million dollars.
On September 17, 2007 the press reports appeared that the businessman bought a collection of paintings belonging to the singer Galina Vishnevskaya and her late husband, musician Mstislav Rostropovich. The singer was going to sell this collection at London auction Sotheby's on September, 18-19. The deal amounted to 72 million dollars. On October 1, 2007 Usmanov officially announced the transfer of the collection of Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya to the Konstantin Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg.
On May 7, 2008 the firm by Usmanov "AF Telecom Holding” and the IPOC Fund agreed to purchase through the Usmanov firm an 8 % stake in MegaFon and 58.9 per cent stake in Telecominvest, which, in turn, owned 31.3 % stake in Megafon . After the elimination of IPOC Usmanov has become the full owner of that share.
In June 2008, Usmanov and the owners of the company “SUP” (“Soup”), including the financier Alexander Mamut agreed to expand the partnership and exchanged their web assets. As a result, Kommersant received up to 50 % of "SUP" (which owned an Internet service LiveJournal), as well as an opportunity to appoint two members of the board of the company, and "Soup" became the owner of 100 % Internet-edition "Gazeta.ru".
Usmanov is the executive vice-president of the British company Middlesex Holdings.
Usmanov's company New Media Technologies was called the largest shareholder of the co-owner of one of Russia's most popular social network "Odnoklassniki.ru" by the Company Digital Sky Technologies (DST). As of December 2009, the share of New Media Technologies in the company was 35 %.
In December 2008 he was elected president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE).
Usmanov is married. His wife Irina Viner is a head coach of Russia in rhythmic gymnastics. In December 2008, he was elected president of the All-Russian federation of the sport.
Source: lenta.ru (Updated on 22.12.2009)
In the world ranking of Forbes-2010 Usmanov has held the 100th place. His fortune by this year has been estimated at $ 7200 million; while in the last year it was $ 1600 million
Usmanov has two kids.
According to press reports, in 1980, Alisher Usmanov- the son of the prosecutor of Tashkent - was sentenced by a military tribunal of the Turkestan Military District for extortion. It was reported that his accomplice had been an operative of the special department of the KGB Nasymov, son of Vice-Chairman of the KGB in Uzbekistan. Usmanov was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment in a penal colony with confiscation of property. After the scandalous trial fathers of both convicts lost their jobs. In 1986, Usmanov was released on parole "due to sincere repentance" and "for good conduct." Subsequently, Usmanov said that he was a victim of political repression. There is no information on the circumstances of the crime committed by Nasymov and Usmanov because the criminal case files had been destroyed, according to the media: in July 2000, the Uzbek Supreme Court fully rehabilitated Usmanov and called the criminal case against him as fabricated.
Sources: "Sobesednik" on 23.10.2007, "The Company" from 14.08.2000
Since the late 90-s the press began to report on a close acquaintance of Alisher Usmanov with a lieutenant colonel of foreign intelligence in the KGB Yevgeny Ananyev, as well as with Sergei Yastrzhemsky, in 2000 he became assistant to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was reported on the ambiguous relationship of Usmanov: his name was mentioned in one context with Sergei Mikhailov, known under the nickname "Mikhas" and was considered the leader of the Solntsevo OPG. It was also reported on Usmanov's dealings with State Duma deputy Andrei Skotch and businessman Lev Kvetny (both appeared in the media as members of the Solntsevo OPG, first - under the nickname "Scotch", the second - "Kvetnoy"), as well - with the North Caucasian mafia clan.
According to the press, Usmanov met Ananyev in the late 80's. After graduating MGIMO Usmanov headed the firm “Association of the 8th day”, which as written in the media, arranged hunting rare animals in the Pamirs for wealthy foreigners. It was reported that one of the customers allegedly tried to recruit Usmanov. But he tipped about the queer client to deputy chairman of the KGB Uzbekistan, after which he met the officer of the 6th Directorate of the KGB, USSR - Yevgeny Ananyev. When Usmanov opened shop for production of plastic bags in the Moscow area based on Ramensky plastics plant Ananiev allegedly helped him avoid the second arrest, according to press reports. The local police became interested in the shop : according to some sources, the waste of which the packages had been made in fact was a first-class raw material from the factory.
According to the press, in April 1993 MAPO-Bank was established with the participation of the first Russian Independent Bank, Usmanov was in the board of directors there. The bank reportedly was needed to serve the financial contracts of the state enterprise generating aircraft MAPO "MiG". It was also reported that by the request of Usmanov shortly before the establishment of MAPO-Bank Evgeny Ananievwas introduced to the surrounding of Vladimir Kuzmin, then head of MAPO "MiG" , and was appointed an adviser.
As written in the press, according to some data, the bank enjoyed the patronage of the then Vice-Premier Oleg Soskovets and the Chief of Security Service of President Alexander Korzhakov. In August 1997, Ananiev was appointed director general of Rosvooruzhenie by decree of Boris Yeltsin. As a result, according to the press, MAPO-Bank received a serious clientele in the face of the FSB, SVR(Foreign Intelligence Service) and Rosvooruzheniye.
As written in the media with reference to operational data, before the establishment of MAPO-Bank Ananiev had met with one of the most influential in Central Asia boss nicknamed Gafur (Gafur Rakhimov) in the country house of Usmanov . Reportedly, then Usmanov allegedly had met with a criminal leader Sergei Mikhailov several times.
According to the press, accounts of the FSB, SVR and Rosvooruzheniye were transferred to other banks because of strengthening the position of organized crime in the MAPO-bank. As reported, starting from August 1996 MAPO-Bank focused on serving the project on creation a financial-industrial group "AtomRudMet” developed with the participation of Usmanov.
According to the press, MAPO-Bank became the main bank of "AtomRudMet", its authorized capital consisted of the collective funds. Citing the security sources, the press reported it was through the export flows of "AtomRudMeta" the foreign currency funds of the North clan had been transferred abroad. And then there was information that the "collective funds" of the North Caucasian clan having been located in MAPO-Bank for almost four years, was removed and transferred to one of the offshore zones. Then on February 16, 2000 the Bank of Russia decided to revoke the license for banking operations of the MAPO-Bank, according to official information, it was due to its "inability to satisfy the claims of creditors on monetary obligations”.
Source: "Version" from 20.06.2000
According to the press, Usmanov co-founded the Inter-bank investment-financial company Interfin, which became a shareholder in MAPO-Bank; he did so at the same time with the creation of MAPO-Bank
As reported, this time the partner of Usmanov appeared to be Andrei Scotch, a former head of the firm "Oka-Oil” - an oil products trader. Since 1999, Andrew Scotch was member of the State Duma. In the press there is evidence of Scotch's involvement in the Solntsevo OPG. In early 2003, Usmanov said in an interview that the group "Interfin" was owned by three partners. As reported, he said those were him and Kvetnoy. The third one, as suggested by journalists, was Scotch. The media suggested that the latter was not named because of his parliamentary mandate.
Sources: "The Company" from 15.09.2006, "Kommersant" dated 22.07.97, Kompromat.ru
In 2003, as it was written in the press, Alisher Usmanov became the owner of an asset with a bad reputation. As reported that the fall of 2002, he sided with General Director of "Russian Aluminum”, Oleg Deripaska, in a struggle for possession of "NOSTA” - Orsk-Khalilovsk steel plant. On a par with Deripaska Usmanov created LLC "Ural Steel", which in October 2003 purchased the assets of "NOSTA”. Media reported that since the beginning of the 90's the owner of "NOSTA" (as well as Avtobank Ingosstrakh, etc.) was Andrei Andreev - former senior officer of OBKhSS. According to press reports, the participation of Andreev in the bank's capital and the insurance company was camouflaged by offshores and cross-ownership. But attempts by Andreev to work in a highly competitive industries had not been supported by sufficient financial and administrative resources. As a result, in 2001 Andreev lost his business empire. The owner of its assets became the consortium, consisting of Basic Element, Millhouse Capital and Nafta-Moscow (Abramovich and Deripaska). As the press wrote, later the entrepreneur insisted he had not sold Avtobank, Ingosstrakh, Nosta and others, but that they had actually stolen them from him. Ingosstrakh stayed with Oleg Deripaska, "Nosta" came under the control of Alisher Usmanov. Avtobank became an integral part of Uralsib (Nikolai Tsvetkov).
Source: lenta.ru with reference to the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Development of 24.06.2004, "The Secret Companies» # 39 (174) on 23.10.2006, # 6 (141) on 13.02.2006
In 2004, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray publicly accused Usmanov of a number of serious crimes. It was reported that Murray had been British Ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2002-2004, then he accused the Uzbek government of violating human rights. Later he wrote the book "Murder in Samarkand". In that book Murray wrote about the beginning of negotiations between Gazprom and Uzbekistan over the expansion of the gas trade. Citing its own sources, the author claimed that a key figure in this business had been an oligarch Alisher Usmanov. He had allegedly given bribes over 80 million dollars to President Karimov's daughter, Gulnara Karimova (the company, in which she had interests, was listed in the media as a link between the management of Uzbekistan and Gazprom).
Source: newsru.com of 9.04. 2008
Murray wrote in an article posted in the British press that:
"Large sums for bribing 'necessary” people had been sent through 'Gazprominvestholding' of Usmanov. Thus, in November 2004 they paid 44 million pounds to the president's daughter Gulnara Karimova who allowed Gazprom to snatch a contract with Uzbekistan from the Americans. In exchange for the money Putin gave instructed Karimov to kick out the Americans from the military base that was controlling the Central Asian region, and Gazprom received a strategic bridgehead for hegemony over the gas reserves of Central Asia and Caucasus.
Source: "The Mail on Sunday" (Translation: InoSMI.Ru from 28.05.2007), "Sobesednik" on 23.10.2007
Press wrote that once the site of Craig Murray (at that time - the famous British blogger) came with the publication of allegations against Alisher Usmanov, web hosting company shut off several well-known political sites. As they explained in the hosting company, the work of the site of Craig Murray had been suspended due to the fact that "potentially dangerous defamatory material." had been placed on it. And it was done after the London law firm Schillings had submitted the provider a demand to remove the contents of the site Murray, representing the interests of Usmanov in the UK.
Source: RB.Ru from 24.09.2007
In May 2005, as the press wrote, Usmanov made a "capture attack" on “Magnitka” - Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (“MMK”). It was reported that the businessman had intended to subordinate the factory itself. But its leader Viktor Rashnikov proved intractable. The MMK historically lacked the proper raw materials, and Usmanov, "put" it on the "raw diet". In May 2005, the supply of iron ore from the mining and concentration complexes (Mikhailovsky and Lebedinsk) controlled by Usmanov were stopped. Usmanov also persuaded the Kazakh colleagues, Sokolov-Sarbaiskoye mining production enterprise (“SSGPO” previously provided 70% of MMK) to join the "raw blockade” of Magnitka. As the press wrote, in a few days the largest company of the steel industry in the country, which share of Russian production was 20%, appeared to be without a supplier. MMK was on the verge of stopping. But, as reported, Rashnikov's relations in the Kremlin helped him avoid a takeover by Metalloinvest.
Sources: "The Company" from 15.09.2006, www.met1.ru, www.metalloprokat.ru from 30.05.2005
In May 2005 the press reported that two months beforehand Usmanov had bought a luxurious mansion secretly in London, formerly belonging to the Emir of Qatar. It was reported that the house had been built in the style of the English Empire and was located in an area of 11 acres in North London. According to media reports, it was put up for sale in January 2004 for 65 million pounds. Usmanov paid much lower price - 48 million pounds, but he bought the estate which is still proved to be one of the most expensive real estate in the history of London. Journalists noted that, based on cadastral documents, Usmanov bought real estate through a company registered on the Isle of Man.
Source: The Sunday Times (Translation: Inopressa.ru from 19.05.2008)
In August 2006, Alisher Usmanov bought PH “Kommersant” from Badri Patarkatsishvili,which had been previously owned by Berezovsky. The press went burst with the publications of the cardinal change of the situation in the Russian media market. Media broadcast the views of analysts who suggested that Usmanov had been acting on behalf of Gazprom which since 2001 had been buying up the media in the interests of the Kremlin.
Source: Press Attashe.Ru of 31.08.2006
It was reported that Usmanov himself claimed that he had bought Kommersant at his own expense, for $ 200 million. Usmanov called the new purchase a "long-term investment in business which was new for him.
Source: Regnum from 31.08.2006
A number of analysts expressed the view in the press that the purchase of Kommersant confirmed the story of the task posed by the Kremlin to create media holding on the threshold of the forthcoming parliamentary (2007) and presidential (2008) election, which was to have credibility in the eyes of potential voters. National News Agency, for example, wrote that the purchase of Kommersant virtually ensured the victory of the current government in the upcoming elections, as the leading publications of the country had already been under the control commercial and governmental structures close to the Kremlin(Promsvyazbank, Gazprom-Media) Source: National News Agency of 25.12.2006
In October 2007 the press reported that the multinational diamond company De Beers accused Alisher Usmanov of fraud. It was reported that a subsidiary of De Beers - Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) - filed a lawsuit in the U.S. court to recover the losses incurred due to the ill-fated collaboration with a former business of Usmanov - Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (“AGD”). Press wrote that, according to plaintiffs, De Beers lost control over the diamond fields due to the fact that Usmanov deliberately had been buying its shares. According to media reports, the subject of the claim was a long-standing deal between the ADC (which owns a controlling stake in De Beers) and AGD (former company of Usmanov). Referring to the materials of the case, the press wrote that in the late 90's De Beers became the majority owner of the diamond pipes named after Gribov in the Arkhangelsk region. According to the position of the plaintiffs, the shares of the pipes named after Gribov had been bought by Alisher Usmanov, and after some time the company was privatized. De Beers lost its access to the diamond fields. According to press reports, the plaintiffs pointed out that the deposit was explored in 1996, and Usmanov, served in the Board of Directors of AGD from 1997 to 2001.
It was reported that De Beers estimated its damage from the alleged fraud at 30 million dollars of investments. According to the press, the plaintiffs also argued that they had lost at least $ 400 million of guaranteed profits. According to the documents of the state of Colorado court, as journalists wrote, the position of ADCwas reduced due to the fact that Usmanov and other interested persons from Russia “had entered into a criminal conspiracy in order to mislead” the company "about the agreement on the right for 40% of the company which was having the right for exploitation.
According to press reports, hearings on the suit of ADC in the court of Colorado had to begin in November 2007.
Source: newsru.com of 8.10. 2007, The Sunday Times 08.10.2007, "version" of 20.06.2000
Media reported that on the day of the news appearance about the lawsuit in the court of Colorado, the press office of the businessman denied the message. As they explained to reporters, the information in the press did not correspond to reality, and Usmanov was not a defendant on the claims of the company ADC.
The representatives of the press-service said that ADC lost all claims against AGD filed in 1998-2003. AGD won the courts on the territory of Russia, as well as in the Stockholm court (Sweden) and in the district court of Denver (USA). According to the press service, the only case lasted in Colorado was against JSC "LUKoil (AGD was called subsudiary of the oil company). Meanwhile, as the press service told, during the trials the facts of fraud had been established committed by the persons representing the interests of ADC. For example, there were indications that the basic document ADC based its claim turned out to be false.
Source: "Times" of 08.10.2007
In late 2007, the press mentioned the wife of Alisher Usmanov - the legendary coach Irina Viner in connection with an ugly story. It was reported that she had appropriated to heself the roof of the luxury house at the street Krylatsky hills, taking 100 sq meters of the property. According to press reports, Irina Viner bought an apartment in 200 sq.m. in that house. The scandal burst because of the superstructure on the roof made by the coach without the consent of the other tenants. The heads of the housing cooperative "AlStar" filed a lawsuit to court.
As reported in the press, during the proceedings Viner allegedly said "I am not aware of what is happening there. I do not live at that address, but do repairs!". The Kuntsevsky court granted the plaintiffs, ordering Viner to dismantle the substructure.
Source: "Express-Gazeta" on 02.10.2007
In early 2009, Usmanov's name was mentioned in the press in connection with the development of Udokan copper deposit scandal. According to media reports, in September 2008 a subsidiary of Metalloinvest - Mikhailovsky GOK in a concession to Rostechnology received the right to develop this deposit. In early 2009, there were indications that " Metalloinvest did not pay the remaining 10.5 billion rubles for the license to develop Udokan. In this regard, the press wrote that Metalloinvest seemed to find a powerful patron in the person of Deputy Head of Federal Agency for Subsoil Use, Vladimir Bavlov because the company offered a six-month delay in paying the rest of the amount. The press reported that because of the economic crisis Metalloinvest was going to reconsider the license conditions by changing the terms of the construction (from 7 years to 9-10 years) and payback period of mining-processing enterprise.
The press wrote that Usmanov has decided to seek assistance from the State Bank like several other oligarchs suffering a difficult situation. It was reported that the head of state corporation "Rostehnology" Sergey Chemezov was negotiating with Vnesheconombank for a loan of 10 billion rubles for the start of Udokan development. By the words of Chemezov, the funds were scheduled to be received by the spring of 2010.
Source: "Moskovsky Komsomolets" from 23.04.2009
According to media reports, in early 2010 the management of Metalloinvest argued that the company was showing signs of recovery. But it was reported that strup of the development of Udokan, which had been scheduled to begin in spring 2010, was postponed.
Sources: moscow-post.ru from 13.01.2010, expert.ru from 23.11. 2009
The press wrote that the business of Alisher Umanov suffered greatly from the economic crisis. The businessman does not deny this also. According to media reports, in 2009 Usmanov admitted that Metallinvest had huge debts. As of April 2009, the oligarch estimated them at $ 5 billion. In an interview with Vedomosti and Kommersant, he acknowledged that he was doing not very well. The press reflects the opinions of experts who believe that debts of Usmanov exceed 5 billion dollars. Journalists wrote that Usmanov was selling non-core assets. He has already sold 75% in the operator of the South Tambeyskoye gas condensate field. According to the staff of Center political conjuncture of the entrepreneur's business structure have owed about $ 10 billion altogether.
Source: "Case of the Week" from 23.04.2009