Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of an opposition Georgian Dream coalition, has sold his pharmacy chain in Russia, Doctor Stoletov, for an estimated USD 60-70 million, the Russian business RBK Daily reported on May 12.
The business daily reported that the company, which runs chain of over 400 drugstores, had been sold to St. Petersburg-based pharmaceutical wholesaler, Imperia-Pharma, reportedly affiliated with son of speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament Valentina Matviyenko.
Russian investment fund, Hi Capital, was also bidding but withdrew citing that proposed price was too high for loss-making Doctor Stoletov.
Doctor Stoletov reported 4.7 billion Russian rubles in revenues and net loss of 185 million rubles in 2011, the Russian daily Kommersant reported in January after Unicor, which manages Ivanishvili’s assets in Russia, made sale proposal to investors. The pharmacy chain was projecting 53 million rubles in net profit in 2012, according to that report.
It was announced on May 10, that Ivanishvili sold his bank in Russia, Rossiyskiy Kredit, to a group of six private investors for USD 352 million.
Ivanishvili, who is ranked at 153 position in Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires with an estimated worth of USD 6.4 billion, announced about intention to sell his assets in Russia, which also include agriculture and real estate development and construction businesses, when he declared about his political plans in Georgia in October, 2011. In December, Ivanishvili said his 1% stake in Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom had been pared down and the remaining shares would be sold.
He told journalists in Tbilisi on May 10 that he was expecting to sell all of his remaining assets in Russia by the end of this month.
Though in his public speeches President Saakashvili never mentions Ivanishvili or his opposition coalition Georgian Dream by name, he frequently alludes to the billionaire and his political allies in his remarks by describing them as being “financed from Russia” or “Gazprom-financed”.