Facebook Investor Usmanov Said to Acquire Wide-Body A340 Jet

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov received the biggest private jet in Russia, a wide-body Airbus A340-300, as he was selling $1.4 billion of stock in Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter said.

Usmanov named the long-range, four-engine craft after his father, Bourkhan, according to one of the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private. Airbus stopped producing A340-300s last year, according to its press office.

The A340 has a range of as far as 9,000 miles and can seat as many as 375 people, according to the website of the manufacturer, Toulouse, France-based Airbus SAS. The plane’s catalog price was $238 million, though the final cost could swell to $350 million or even $500 million depending on how it’s decorated and outfitted, said Oleg Panteleyev, an editor at Aviaport.ru, a website that tracks the aviation industry.

“It’s definitely the largest business jet in Russia and maybe even the largest in Europe,” Panteleyev said by phone from Moscow today. Billionaire Roman Abramovich has a Boeing 767 and President Vladimir Putin uses a Russian-made Ilyushin Il-96, both of which are smaller than the A340, he said.

Usmanov also commissioned the construction of a $100 million yacht that he plans to name Dilbar, after his mother, the Izvestia newspaper reported last week, without saying where it got the information.

Billionaire Index

Usmanov is ranked 34th in the daily Bloomberg Billionaire Index of the world’s richest people, with a fortune of $15.8 billion, the same as Lakshmi Mittal, the largest shareholder in steelmaker ArcelorMittal. Usmanov is the largest shareholder of Metalloinvest, Russia’s biggest iron-ore producer, and owns stakes in mobile operator OAO MegaFon, the Mail.ru Group Internet company and London soccer club Arsenal.

Usmanov is also a major investor in the DST group of funds, which sold about $1.7 billion of Facebook shares in the social-networking site last month, $1.4 billion of which went to Usmanov, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Facebook rose 3.6 percent to $26.81 in New York. The shares have lost 29 percent since they began trading at $38 on May 18, cutting the company’s market value to about $64 billion.

Usmanov’s press service declined to comment on personal acquisitions by the investor, as did Metalloinvest.

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