Rybolovlev’s Backstage Deal Gets Him Skorpios

Athina_Onassis_Skorpios-Scorpios2Dmitry 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.


  1. Great! Now another piece of beautiful Greek land is sold to a foreigner. The Russians will by all the beautiful properties in Greece just like they did in Cyprus. In Malta, they rejected the Russians’ money and slowly but steadily grew their economy. I am not surprised a Cypriot lawyer was involved in the deal.

  2. Let me get this straight this Russian mobster was 10% owner of bank of Cyprus but git all his money out days before the banks closed and our dubious Greek Government here let him tansfer all his money into Greece tax free and then allowed him to buy a Greek island?? Makes no sense at all and he must have paid a hell of a bribe to PASOK or New Democracy Party to get away with this complete sham and the EU Commission and Troika care nothing about the criminal way this was done?? — Get rid of all these scum bags!

  3. It’s not surprising given the Greek sovereign debt crisis that the for sale signs are up all over. A heavy price is being paid for years of profligate and unrealistic social spending, a bloated public sector and policies that are less than business friendly. It is time it re-positions itself as a place that is attractive for business growth and investment. If it does not, there are plenty of alternative places around the world where entrepreneurs can go to invest.

  4. BAV1… The problem is these corrupt Greek politicians from PASOK and ND robbed the country bind for 37 years, not the citizens.

  5. Agreed. Unfortunately the malady of political corruption is not a unique one to Greece. Not that this should be an excuse for Greek politicians who should be judged by the highest standards. They have never been my favorite bunch of people as I often find their talk to be cheap and divisive. I would much rather put my faith in the efforts of ordinary Greeks who display the same common characteristics throughout the world of hard work, flair and ingenuity often achieving their accomplishments out of nothing. This is the enduring spirit inherent in many, that will pull Greece out of its present predicament and to succeed in spite of the politicians.

  6. what is wrong with you morons, the land is leased it does not belong to Russia.. Russians love greece and he is helping stimulate the economy


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