Company linked to Russian oligarch Fridman ordered to sell UK broadband provider
Mikhail Fridman, co-owner of Alfa-Bank Ukraine (Photo:yes-ukraine.org)
The British government has ordered investment company LetterOne Holdings, founded by Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan, to sell broadband provider Upp due to threats to national security, the UK’s Financial Times reported on Dec. 20.
Grant Shapps, the UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, on Monday said that LetterOne’s ownership of Upp represented a “risk to national security”.
The government has also told Upp to complete a security audit of its broadband network prior to sale, FT said.
In turn, LetterOne said it was disappointed by the decision. In a statement, it claimed that "L1 is not sanctioned and has taken fast, decisive action to put in place strong measures to distance L1 from its sanctioned shareholders.
They have no role in L1, no access to premises, infrastructure, people and funds or benefits of any description.”
It added that Upp “already has processes in place that remove any perceived threat to national security”, the company is governed by a British governance model, and its board of directors includes only UK, U.S. and EU representatives.
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