Russian billionaire buys Kuban football club stock

The Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, heading the boards of the companies Basic Element and Russian Aluminum, plans to buy this April a 50 percent package of the Kuban football club shares now owned by the Krasnodar Territory administration (the south of Russia). This information was furnished Friday by the entrepreneur's spokesman Maxim Remchukov. He found it premature to specify the value of the transaction.

"The cost of the club will be determined during the sale procedure which has just begun and is to last rather long, not less than for two months. The sale is to be legally endorsed this April," said Remchukov.

"The company has nothing to do with this project which is just a personal purchase of Deripaska," noted Remchukov. " He refused to comment on the likely motives for the billionaire's desire to take part in financing this very football club, just noting that Deripaska had grown up in the town of Ustlabinsk, the Kuban district.

'The Krasnodar Territory administration has agreed on Oleg Deripaska's joining the share holders of the Kuban football club on conditions of parity," says a report placed on the club's official site. "Both sides are now considering the volume, sources and mechanism of financing the territory's leading team for 2004." "Though the provisional budget has not yet been made public, it is clear that it will be adequate to those tasks which have been set to the Kuban club in its debut year of the premier league. No reshuffles in the managerial and coaching staff are planned and the team is to continue its training sessions in accordance with the schedule established," says the report.

The Kuban football club will perform in 2004 in the premier league, the supreme division of Russian football. The team had figured in the supreme league during the championships until the early 1980s when its status was reduced to outsiders for quite a time.

In July 2003, another major Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, the governor of Chukotka in the Far East, bought the controlling block of London's Chelsea soccer club shares."

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