Stephen Jennings to sell up - reports

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 08:48 30/01/2013
jennings1 stand
Stephen Jennings is selling his stake in a Russian business.

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Stephen Jennings, the Taranaki-born man once hailed as the richest New Zealander, is reportedly selling his interests in one of the Russian firms he created and that made him a billionaire.

Mr Jennings, through Renaissance Capital founded 17 years ago, made about US$5 billion (NZ$6 billion) before falling on harder times and last year made the National Business Review's rich list with NZ$900 million.

Last year Mr Jennings, 52, stepped down from Renaissance after billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov rebuffed his requests for more cash for the money-losing investment bank.

Mr Jennings left Moscow and is believed to be in Nigeria, but Bloomberg news agency said it could not contact him on his latest moves.

Bloomberg said two people with knowledge of the matter reported Mr Jennings was in talks to sell his asset management firm.

The management of Renaissance Asset Managers, led by Plamen Monovksi, reportedly may acquire control of the firm, with Kazimir Partners Ltd. taking a minority stake.

When he left Moscow Mr Jennings surrendered his stake in Renaissance Capital but kept control of the group's asset management unit, urban development projects in Africa, consumer lending in Nigeria and real estate funds in Russia.

Bloomberg said Mr Jennings couldn't be reached on his Russian mobile phone or through the London offices of Renaissance Asset Managers.

''We do not comment on market speculation or rumour,'' Mary Zerner, a spokeswoman for the fund manager in London, said by e-mail.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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