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Ukraine war: Knight Frank pull out of trying to sell £18m Surrey mansion owned by Russian oligarch

Estate agents Knight Frank have pulled out of trying to sell the £18million Surrey mansion owned by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, MailOnline has learned.

The five-bedroom art deco Hamstone House was put on the market last month prior to the invasion of Ukraine.

Set in eight acres of manicured grounds, the five-bedroom home is in the exclusive St George’s Hill private gated community in Weybridge, Surrey.

Estate agents Knight Frank have pulled out of trying to sell the £18million Surrey mansion owned by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska

Estate agents Knight Frank have pulled out of trying to sell the £18million Surrey mansion owned by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska

The five-bedroom art deco Hamstone House was put on the market last month prior to the invasion of Ukraine

The five-bedroom art deco Hamstone House was put on the market last month prior to the invasion of Ukraine

Set in eight acres of manicured grounds, the five-bedroom home is in the exclusive St George’s Hill private gated community in Weybridge, Surrey

Set in eight acres of manicured grounds, the five-bedroom home is in the exclusive St George’s Hill private gated community in Weybridge, Surrey

Knight Frank were instructed to sell the property in January

Knight Frank were instructed to sell the property in January

But potential buyers will no longer be able to find any details on their website after the company took the decision to no longer market the property

But potential buyers will no longer be able to find any details on their website after the company took the decision to no longer market the property

A source at the company said: ’We have stepped away from the instruction’

A source at the company said: ’We have stepped away from the instruction’

Putin and Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attend a signing ceremony after talks with the Chinese delegation at the Kremlin in Moscow March 22, 2013

Putin and Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attend a signing ceremony after talks with the Chinese delegation at the Kremlin in Moscow March 22, 2013

Knight Frank were instructed to sell the property in January, but potential buyers will no longer be able to find any details on their website after the company took the decision to no longer market the property.

A source at the company said: ’We have stepped away from the instruction.’

Deripaska owns the stunning home through Cyprus based Edenfield Investments Limited.

Hamstone House includes a spa, sauna, gym, tennis court and swimming pool.

Deripaska owns the stunning home through Cyprus based Edenfield Investments Limited

Deripaska owns the stunning home through Cyprus based Edenfield Investments Limited

Hamstone House includes a spa, sauna, gym, tennis court and swimming pool

Hamstone House includes a spa, sauna, gym, tennis court and swimming pool

Prior to axing its brochure for the home, Knight Frank described it as being unique in an area where the average price of a home is over £7million

Prior to axing its brochure for the home, Knight Frank described it as being unique in an area where the average price of a home is over £7million

Deripaska, 54, is one of the richest men in Russia and runs one of the country’s biggest industrial groups

Deripaska, 54, is one of the richest men in Russia and runs one of the country’s biggest industrial groups

Estate agents Knight Frank have pulled out of trying to sell the £18million Surrey mansion owned by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska

Estate agents Knight Frank have pulled out of trying to sell the £18million Surrey mansion owned by sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska

The five-bedroom art deco Hamstone House was put on the market last month prior to the invasion of Ukraine

The five-bedroom art deco Hamstone House was put on the market last month prior to the invasion of Ukraine

Who is Oleg Deripeska? The rise and fall of the billionaire oil tycoon once dubbed Russia’s richest man 

Once Russia’s richest man, oil tycoon Mr Deripaska came to prominence in the UK when he entertained Labour grandee Lord Mandelson on his yacht in Corfu. 

The tycoon – who is close to Mr Putin – quit as a director of Russian energy giant EN+ Group after being targeted by the sanctions. He owns a house in Belgrave Square and is a grandson by marriage to the late leader Boris Yeltsin.

Last year he tore into the FBI and ‘utter stupidity’ of the American government in a lengthy statement on Wednesday, a day after homes linked to him in New York and Washington were raided by the agency.

Oleg Deripaska (pictured), who was once Russia's richest man, owns a house in Belgrave Square and is a grandson by marriage to the late leader Boris Yeltsin

Oleg Deripaska (pictured), who was once Russia’s richest man, owns a house in Belgrave Square and is a grandson by marriage to the late leader Boris Yeltsin

A spokesman for Deripaska said the searches stemmed from sanctions imposed on him in 2018 and that the homes belonged to his relatives. But on Deripaska indicated both pieces of luxury real estate were ‘abandoned.’

Deripaska’s was born in Siberia in 1968 but raised by his grandparents in Krasnodar, after his mother left home to find work. He was drafted into the Red Army before graduating Moscow State University in 1993 with a degree in nuclear physics, just as Soviet Russia was collapsing.

His estimated peak fortune sat at £28 billion and he boasted several multi-million properties and private jets, as well as the yacht where he entertained Peter Mandelson and George Osbourne. At his peak, he 

Deripaska has acknowledged his business depends on goodwill in the Kremlin. However, in 2018, he was targeted with sanctions that crippled his wealth, over ‘malign’ Russian activity.

The US banned businesses and banks from having any dealings with Deripaska, and attempted to seize some of his assets.

American officials cited a string of his alleged criminal activities, including ‘threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering’, as well as links to organised crime.

The private luxury yacht of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, pictured in Turkey

The private luxury yacht of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, pictured in Turkey

Deripaska has a home in Belgrave Square and is also rumoured to have a home at nearby Eaton Square

Deripaska has a home in Belgrave Square and is also rumoured to have a home at nearby Eaton Square

They also claimed Putin forced him to launder money by investing $800m in a sports complex for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Now, Deripaska’s fortune sits at $2.9bn, just a tenth of its peak and could collapse further following sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Deripaska is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who’s been accused of helping the Kremlin conduct foreign influence operations.

A 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released in 2020 also links him to former Trump 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.

Deripaska and other members of Putin’s inner circle as well as 12 Russian businesses connected to them were blacklisted by the Treasury Department in 2018 over alleged international crimes. 

However, Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to him despite objections from Congressional Democrats.

According to the government, Deripaska still has stakes in En+ Group, a major extractives and energy company which owns UC Rusal, one of the world’s major aluminium producers. He also has a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK. 

Prior to axing its brochure for the home, Knight Frank described it as being unique in an area where the average price of a home is over £7million.

The brochure said: ’Hamstone House is not comparable to the rest of St George’s Hill, because it’s the largest site on the estate, has a formidable gate/staff house, and its privacy and variety of grounds completely set it apart from all other properties.’

Deripaska, 54, is one of the richest men in Russia and runs one of the country’s biggest industrial groups.

He has been described as one of Putin’s favourite industrialists.

Questions for Peter Mandelson and George Osborne after Yachtgate oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who partied with them on £80million vessel in Corfu, is sanctioned over links to Putin regime

A billionaire oligarch who once caused a political furore by meeting former Labour minister Peter Mandelson and then future chancellor George Osborne aboard his £80million yacht was hit with sanctions today. 

Oil tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who was once Russia’s richest man, was one of seven people targeted by the Government today in a ratcheting up of action designed to put pressure on the Putin regime.

He was embroiled in a row in 2008 that was dubbed Yachtgate, after his meetings with the senior Labour and Tory figures was revealed.

Both men met Mr Deripaska on his yacht, with Mr Osborne accused of trying to solicit a donation for the Tory party – something he denies. 

Lord Mandelson, who was then an EU trade commissioner, stayed on the Queen K off the Greek island. He went on to become business secretary in Gordon Brown’s government as a Labour peer.

By the time they met Deripaska had already been targeted by the United States, which cancelled his visa in 2007. 

The Russian is believed to have a fortune of £3.2billion. Last year, Isle of Wight MP used Parliamentary Privilege to describe him as ‘one of President Putin’s most loyal oligarchs’. 

He owns a house in London’s Belgrave Square and is a grandson by marriage to the late leader of the Soviet Union Boris Yeltsin. 

He has been sanctioned by the US since 2018 over alleged links to the Russian government, including allegations of cyber-attacks and election meddling.

He called the claims ‘a lie’, adding: ‘The idea that I am some kind of ”Kremlin operative”… is clearly idiotic nonsense.’

Oil and metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who was once Russia's richest man, was one of seven people targeted by the Government today in a ratcheting up of action designed to put pressure on the Putin regime.

Oil and metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who was once Russia’s richest man, was one of seven people targeted by the Government today in a ratcheting up of action designed to put pressure on the Putin regime.

Peter Mandelson

George Osborne

Mr Osborne was accused of trying to solicit a donation for the Tory party – something he denies. Lord Mandelson, who was then an EU trade commissioner, stayed on the Queen K (below)  off the Greek island

In a bitter £650million legal battle at the High Court in 2012, he was alleged to have ties to brutal organised crime gangs which emerged after the collapse of Communism in the former Soviet Union.

He vehemently denied the allegations – revealed in legal papers filed as part of the case – and counter-claimed that he was the victim of an ‘old-fashioned protection racket’ run by the Mafia-style gangs.

Mr Deripaska said he had been forced to pay more than half a billion dollars to the gangs over seven years and had feared for his safety and that of his family.

His one time business partner, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, has been hit with the same measures – as have Rosneft chief Igor Sechin and four more described as being in Putin’s ‘inner circle’.

After the Corfu meeting with Deripaska was revealed, Mr Osborne admitted meeting him on four occasions over the course of a weekend in the Mediterranean in August 2008. 

He insisted they had not discussed donations, which are allowed only from UK-registered voters, bbbut later admitted the meetings were ‘a mistake’.

Mandelson also denied any wrongdoing, telling the Guardian: ‘What is important is not where you meet somebody or how long you meet them for but what you do during the meeting.

‘In my case, I offered no favours and I received no favours, unlike George Osborne, who was holding conversations around his visits in order to obtain a financial contribution to the Conservative party.’ 

The Foreign Office said the Economic Crime Bill coming into force next week ‘will allow UK Government to move further and faster than ever on sanctions’.

Boris Johnson said: ‘There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

‘Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.’

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added: ‘Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.

‘The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.

‘Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine.’

The Foreign Office said the oligarchs have a collective net worth of around £15billion.

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Would YOU live here? Seaside cottage with stunning coastal views is branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in listing – but is on the market for just £75,000

  • Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness has been put on the market 
  • The four-bedroom home has remarkable views of the Moray Firth 

A seaside cottage with stunning coastal views has been branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in its listing – but has still gone on the market for just £75,000.

Potential buyers of Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, may get some remarkable views of the Moray Firth, but also face a massive renovation job to make the building fit to live in.

Photos show the interior of the four-bedroom home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings.

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believes it ‘offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home’.

The house, which includes a garage, has been ‘extensively extended’ to create a total floor area of over 350 sqm – which could be converted into a family home or a rental opportunity.

Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, comes with a remarkable view of the Moray Firth - but potential buyers face a massive renovation job

Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, comes with a remarkable view of the Moray Firth – but potential buyers face a massive renovation job

Photos show the interior of the home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings

Photos show the interior of the home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings

The seaside cottage has been branded 'uninhabitable' and 'unsafe' in its listing

The seaside cottage has been branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in its listing

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believe the house 'offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home'

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believe the house ‘offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home’

‘The property further offers garden areas to front and rear, with the upper floor balconies enjoying great views over the Moray Firth,’ reads the listing.

‘The property is currently unhabitable, hence no Home Report is available, but a full programme of works would add massive value and offers the opportunity to adapt the current accommodation format subject, of course, to any required permissions/warrants.

‘The potential and value on offer is sure to attract strong levels of demand and, as such, early viewing is essential to avoid missing out.’ 

The original stone built dwelling has been extensively extended with the addition of north and south wings to create a total floor are in excess of 350 sq.

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a ‘stunning family home’ or to be rented out to holidaymakers. 

They also claim that a full programme of works would add ‘massive value’ to the building. 

The stunning view of the Moray Firth seen from the property

The stunning view of the Moray Firth seen from the property 

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a 'stunning family home' or to be rented out to holidaymakers

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a ‘stunning family home’ or to be rented out to holidaymakers

They also claim that a full programme of works would add 'massive value' to the building

They also claim that a full programme of works would add ‘massive value’ to the building

Once renovations are completed, the property will have a council tax band of C.

Mandi Cooper, Managing Director of Auction House Scotland, said: ‘Woodbine Cottage is certainly a project suited to a keen developer or investor, and it deserves to be lovingly renovated back to its former glory.

‘With huge opportunity to add value, and holiday lets in the Highlands being an ever-popular way to generate income, this would also be ideal for serviced accommodation providers.’

Woodbine Cottage will go to auction on May 30 with Auction House Scotland, with a viewing date of May 22

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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