The LetterOne group, majority shareholder of the Dia supermarket chain, returned to the investment path once the Russian tycoon Mijail Fridman was sidelined, and is now looking for energy projects in Spain.
Although it recorded losses of 7,853 million dollars last year (about 7,300 million euros), the company assures that it has the liquidity to carry out this new investment plan worth 7,700 million dollars (7,200 million euros ).
Jonathan Muir, CEO of LetterOne, assured the annual report corresponding to 2022 and that the group recently published that “thanks to our strong liquidity of almost $ 8 billion, we continue to make prudent investments worth $1.5 billion in recent years.” months”.
The company focuses above all, it says, “on consolidating and strengthening our portfolio, even by repurchasing the debt of Holland & Barrett at an attractive discount; the acquisition of Remedica and Sun Wave Pharma or by investing in opportunities such as Tigo and Breakwater. And in the same sense, it announced the “start of the process of acquiring new companies” where the group is already present internationally, such as energy or retail.
The group underwent a deep restructuring of its board of directors after the departure last year of both Fridman and his partner Petr Aven, all of whose shares were frozen because of their ties to Russia and their alleged relationship with Vladimir Putin, and with the approval of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States. Evan Mervyn Davies, who was appointed deputy chairman in May 2015, took over as executive chairman in March 2022, after LetterOne froze the assets of two authorized directors.
Likewise, Muir, who joined LetterOne in 2013 as a board member, currently serves as CEO of the entity, which also completed the top executive body with appointments in March 2023 as new directors of Annalisa Jenkins, Alex Gourlay, Linda Wilding and Franz Humer. They replaced German Khan, Alexey Kuzmichev and Andrei Kosogov, who resigned from their positions.
In his annual report, Lord Davies of Abersoch emphasized that “Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine shocked the world” and recalled that “despite the condemnation of the war, in early 2022 many of our shareholders authorized by the UK and EU”.
Because of this, Letterone removed them from decision-making, prohibited them from accessing the facilities and withdrew any kind of remuneration, even preventing them from receiving any dividends. “LetterOne has worked well with regulators in the UK, EU and other countries, who have confirmed that we are not sanctioned and support our action,” recalls the group’s president.
“In 2023 we will launch a new investment initiative where there will be both financial returns and social benefits,” he assured. The goal, beyond energy, is to grow in sectors where the group already exists such as health, retail and technology. “We continue to invest throughout the year, focusing on strengthening our portfolio and our assets,” insisted the president of LetterOne