Ukrainian billionaire Kostiantyn Zhevago, the controlling shareholder of London-listed iron pellet producer Ferrexpo, is stepping down from the company’s board of directors following the reports about his arrest and detention in France at Ukraine’s request. Zhevago holds 51% of Ferrexpo shares.
“The Board has been informed that Zhevago is prepared to step down from the Board of Ferrexpo plc immediately,” the company said in a statement.
Ferrexpo is a company that produces iron ore pellets, a key material in the metallurgical industry. Its operations span from iron ore mining to the production and sales of iron ore concentrate and pellets.
The French authorities detained Zhevago at the Courchevel ski resort at the request of the State Investigation Bureau of Ukraine on Dec. 27, according to the Bureau.
Zhevago is wanted in Ukraine in an embezzlement case. In 2019, the fugitive businessman was charged for allegedly embezzling $113 million from Finance & Credit Bank, which he used to own. In 2021, Zhevago was put on the Interpol wanted list.
With a net worth of $1.4 billion, Zhevago is the fifth richest Ukrainian, according to a recent list by Forbes Ukraine. Ferrexpo is his main asset.
Zhevago was a member of Ukraine’s parliament from 1998 to 2019.