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TVR goes Russian

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2004-08-01

TVR Tuscan car

TVR Tuscan car

British sportscar maker TVR has been sold to Russia's youngest roubles billionaire, Nikolai Smolenski. 

The 24-year-old, is the son of Alexander Smolenaski, who at one time owned Russia's largest banking group SBS-Agro. The bank collapsed in 1998.
In a statement, Smolenski who divides his time between London, Moscow and Austria, says he is a great fan of British cars and welcomes to opportunity to own a well respected company.
"I am very enthusiastic about the potential of TVR and am grateful for the opportunity to become a car manufacturer," he said. "I have always been a fan of British car manufacturing and believe that the best automotive designers and engineers are in this country."
No details have been released as to how much Smolenski spent on the purchase, but Russian business circles suggest that he paid £15m to take full ownership.
TVR employs 400 people in Blackpool and sells around 1000 cars a year.
TVR owner Peter Wheeler has said he is pleased with the sale and will stay on as a consultant overseeing design and engineering. "It's time to hand the reins over to a younger man and I look forward to helping him with his exciting plans."