What could go wrong? Putin crony wants to buy big stake in Western telecoms

What could go wrong? Putin crony wants to buy big stake in Western telecoms
Mikhail Fridman, aspiring telecom tycoon and totally Vlad's BFF. (Image via JBN)

[Ed. – Great, so China will own all our IT manufacturing and Russia will gain embedded leverage throughout our telecom network.]

Billionaire Mikhail Fridman is looking to invest $16 billion in telecoms businesses in the West, and he’s enlisted a substantial advisory board of industry players to help him get the job done, The Financial Times reported.

Fridman’s switch from North Sea gas and oil to telecoms and technology is probably the result of the bloody nose the tycoon received from his confrontation with the British government, which suspcted him of doing President Vladimir Putin’s bidding when his LetterOne Energy purchased a dozen North Sea fields. In the end, Fridman, guilty or not of those accusations, had to abandon those fields.

So now Fridman has set up his LetterOne Technology (a pattern emerges, right?) as a private equity-style group to invest $16 billion in telecom and technology. …

Fridman’s board for the new venture will include Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, Irish telecoms entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, former Google payments executive Osama Bedier, former Skype executive Russ Shaw and Vodafone co-founder Sir Julian Horn-Smith, the FT reported.

CEO Reznikovich wants to pick up traditional telecoms that are in financial trouble, internet companies making apps, and streaming services that just sit there, streaming away with little cash coming in from potential subscribers.

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