Kirill Shamalov, who married Katerina Tikhonova in February 2013, had received at least four deals by April 2014 to buy shares in Russian companies in th telecommunications, real estate, oil services, and metals industry worth billions of dollars,a trove of his emailsthat were leaked to Istories and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and published on December 7 show.
The emails, which go back to 2003 and whose authenticity have been confirmed with multiple sources, may give an inside peek into how quickly people can acquire enormous wealth upon entering Putin’s inner circle. Shamalov was just 30 at the time he married Tikhonova. Putin has never admitted that Tikhonova is his daughter.
Shamalov would eventually agree in August 2014 to buy a 17 percent stake in petrochemicals giant Sibur from Putin’s long-time associate Gennady Timchenko, who decided to cut his stake in the company after being sanctioned by the United States, the report said.
The emails do not state how much Shamalov paid for the Sibur stake. Shamalov would later claim that the company was worth $10 billion, potentially valuing the deal at $1.7 billion. However, Sibur is not a publicly traded company and its market value cannot be precisely determined.
The report says it is unclear how Shamalov would have been able to buy Timchenko’s 17 percent stake since he would not have had enough collateral for such a large loan. However, an earlier proposal may give some indication.
When Shamalov was given an offer to buy stakes in three telecommunications companies worth billions of dollars in May 2013, just three months after his marriage, his assistant suggested he borrow from “friendly financial institutions” like Gazfond, the pension fund of state-controlled Gazprom, which was headed by Shamalov’s brother, the report said.
Shamalov did not randomly meet Tikhonova. He had known Putin’s daughter since childhood, the report states. His father, Nikolai Shamalov, is one of Putin’s oldest and closest friends