Roman Abramovich: Net worth, when he bought Chelsea, yachts

Jude Summerfield
Abramovich is selling Chelsea
Abramovich is selling Chelsea / Paul Gilham/GettyImages

Roman Abramovich is a Russian billionaire and oligarch who is looking to sell Chelsea Football Club following his homeland's invasion of Ukraine.

The United Kingdom government has threatened sanctions on Russians with vast estates in the UK, leaving Abramovich in a race to sell Chelsea as soon as possible.

During his reign in west London, Chelsea have won every major trophy available to them, completing the set in 2022 with the FIFA Club World Cup.

Roman Abramovich net worth

Abramovich is worth $13bn (£9.8bn) as of early March 2022, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That ranks him at 142nd on the Forbes list.

His total worth has decreased significantly over the past year or so. As recently as October 2021, Abramovich was reported to be worth as much as $19.2bn

When did Roman Abramovich buy Chelsea?

Abramovich bought Chelsea in the summer of 2003 for £140m and the club soon began an aggressive and ambitious commercial development programme as they looked to rival the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.

Since the early 2000s, Chelsea have become one of the most successful football clubs in world football, winning every major trophy available to them during Abramovich's reign, including two Champions League titles.

How did Roman Abramovich get rich?

Most of Abramovich's fortune has come from proceeds he collected by selling Russian state-owned assets he acquired following the demise of the Soviet Union.

From 1989 to 1991, he sold plastic toys before creating companies that traded petroleum products, minerals, cement and fertilisers in Russia and around the world.

Later in the 1990s, he teamed up with Boris Berezovsky to acquire a 50% stake in Siberian Oil, which set him back around $100m. He would later merge his aluminium assets with Siberian Aluminum to create Russian Aluminum.

He started divesting his stakes in companies in 2003, when he sold 26% of Aeroflot to the National Reserve Bank for $135m. Media reports also claim he sold aluminium assets to Oleg Deripaska for more than $2bn. He currently has stakes in Evraz and Norilsk Nickel.

Where does Roman Abramovich live?

Abramovich has kept a low profile in public life, rarely giving interviews. But on one rare occasion when he did speak to the press, he revealed he would call Moscow his home, and that is where he is believed to be residing currently.

However, he is thought to live a very transient lifestyle and his numerous planes and helicopters have been tracked around the Caribbean, Turkey and Latvia recently.

In 2018, Abramovich withdrew his application for a renewal to his UK visa amid growing tension between the British government and Russia in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. He was granted Israeli citizenship soon afterwards by exercising his rights under Israel's Law of Return, which allows Jewish people from anywhere in the world to become citizens.

Roman Abramovich's yachts

Abramovich has become synonymous with luxury yachts, with the media labelling his fleet of ships 'Abramovich's Navy'.

He currently owns a ship called 'Eclipse', which is 162.5 metres (533 ft). It is currently wanted by the international community as a piece of hardware to be seized from oligarchs. It has a military-grade missle detection system, bulletproof glass and a three-person submarine.

Yachts do not generally tend to be equipped with such appliances.

Abramovich has previously owned boats named 'Pelorus', 'Sussurro', 'Ecstasea', 'Le Grand Bleu' and 'Luna'.