Russian Oil Billionaire Bought Warner Music

Nov. 17, 2011 – Russian oil oligarch Leonard Blavatnik made billions in oil after the Soviet Union collapsed and insiders divided up the spoils. He owns homes in New York and London, reports Devin Leonard in Bloomberg Businessweek.

In the name of privatization and dismantling communism, Kremlin insiders and cronies got rich. Those who bucked the system ended up in jail, exile or worse.

The Ukranian-born, 54-year-old Harvard MBA does not fit the norm, according to Leonard, especially because Blavatnik has been an American citizen since 1984. Less unusual, he “has been dogged by accusations that he and his partners used underhanded methods to assemble their assets.”

In May, 2011, Blavatnik bought the venerable Warner Music Group, pioneers who launched groups like the Grateful Dead. He paid $1.3 billion for the third largest record company in the world.

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