Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian businessman, investor, philanthropist and current owner of AS Monaco Football Club, is now the owner of Aristotle Onassis’s legendary island of Skorpios, sold for a reported $100 million by the late Greek tycoon’s daughter Athina Roussel, who rarely went there.
The purchase has already been completed, through a very complex legal transaction which involved a number of people in Cyprus, Brussels, Geneva and Luxemburg.
Rybolovlev, 47, a Russian oligarch who had 10 percent of the holdings of the Bank of Cyprus, faces confiscation of much of his fortune there as the government is seizing up to 80 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($130,000) on the orders of international lenders putting up a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) bailout. He ranks 119th on the world’s billionaire’s list compiled by Forbes magazine.
Rybolovlev, the owner of the Russian potash fertilizer company Uralkali, now owns the island that Aristole Onassis loved. It is in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece and just to the east of the island of Lefkada. Rybolovlev also bought the small island of Tsokari from Onassis’ daughter.
Rybolovlev is a big spender. His 24-year-old daughter Ekaterina recently bought a Manhattan apartment for $88 million whose owner was the former Chief Executive and Chairman of Citigroup, Sanford Weill.
Kathimerini said the Skorpios sale is a done deal and worked through the management board of the Aristotle and Aristides companies which control the companies Mycenae and Agamemnon to whom the two islands belong.
The procedure was handled by the law firm George Kostakopoulos and Associates, whose executive Nikos Koroyannakis visited many times Brussels and Geneva to conclude the deal.
There was a well-known Cypriot lawyer involved as well, Andreas Neocleous, who blamed the Dutch for the collapse of his island’s economy and banks. Neocleous has also an office in Brussels in the same building with Kostakopoulos.
People who worked on the private island of Skorpios said the lawyers had visited there many times. Rybolovlev reportedly is planning to make the island an attraction for the rich and powerful of the world.
Rybolovlel has money to burn. He paid his former wife, Elena, $5 billion for a divorce. He has a checkered and storied past, including spending 11 months in prison before being exonerated of being implicated in the murder of Evgeny Panteleymonov, General Director of JSC Neftechimik. Forbes said the case was fabricated by the government to try to extort money from him, a common practice in Russia where President Vladimir Putin has imprisoned one oligarch.