Roman Abramovich Buys Stake in U.K. Gas Truck-Engine Developer

Billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Ervington Investments Ltd. bought a stake in Clean Air Power Ltd., a U.K.-based developer of technology that allows diesel truck engines to run on cheaper, cleaner natural gas.

Ervington and Zara Shvidler, the wife of Abramovich’s friend Eugene Shvidler, each bought about 1.5 percent in Clean Air Power, the company said today in a statement. Clean Air raised about 5 million pounds ($7.8 million) before expenses with the sale of 51.9 million shares at 9.625 pence a piece, representing about 22.7 percent of the Lancashire, northern England-based company.

John Mann, a spokesman for Abramovich’s Moscow-based investment company Millhouse LLC, confirmed the acquisition today by phone.

Clean Air makes systems that allow heavy-duty diesel engines to operate mainly on natural gas, which produces less pollution. Clean Air will use proceeds from the sale to boost business in the U.S. and Russia, where demand for natural gas vehicles is increasing, driven by industry plans to expand gas refueling networks, according to the statement.

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