Russia’s Richest Man to Be Cautious on M&A and May Up TUI Stake

  • Mordashov says he’ll be ‘active, but prudent’ going forward
  • Billionaire plans to boost his stake in travel company TUI

Mordashov: Hope Trump Brings Russian Sanctions 'Chance'

Billionaire Alexey Mordashov, whose assets range from a steelmaker to stakes in a phone operator and travel firm, said he’ll be more careful making deals after losing money on some investments.

"We lost a lot of money on M&A," Russia’s richest man said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua in Davos, Switzerland. “We will be active, but prudent” in future, he said.

Alexey Mordashov on January 18.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

One company that interests him is TUI AG, Europe’s largest tour operator. Mordashov, whose companies control about 21 percent of TUI, said he wants to boost his stake to almost 30 percent.

Mordashov’s fortune stands at $17.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He became Russia’s wealthiest man in December after his steelmaker Severstal PJSC increased its market value by about 50 percent in a year on the back of a steel rally and low debt. In 2014, the firm sold its U.S. assets for $2.3 billion after spending about $6 billion on them over a decade.

The billionaire said he’s positive on TUI because of a good outlook on the travel business. TUI shares climbed as much as 2 percent after his comments and were up 1.3 percent by 12:59 p.m. in London.

Separately, any lifting of U.S. and European sanctions against Russia would benefit Russian banks and its agriculture industry, and also improve business confidence, Mordashov said.

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