Billionaires: Rupert Murdoch lists two New York apartments for $78m

In our fortnightly round-up, MacKenzie Scott donates a total of $3.9bn over the past nine months and Igor Makarov sells more than half his stake in Canadian natural gas producer Spartan Delta

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Rupert Murdoch

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch is listing a pair of apartments in New York for $78 million, less than a decade after purchasing them and conducting an extensive renovation.

The News Corp founder is selling his $62m triplex penthouse and a smaller apartment on a lower floor for $16m, according to a property listing on Corcoran Group’s website. Corcoran's Deborah Grubman, the property agent selling the apartments, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Mr Murdoch paid about $57.9m in 2014 for the properties in the Flatiron District, according to The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported the listings. The triplex, which features five bedrooms and a great room, is 6,850 square feet (636 square metres) and has views across Manhattan.

The 91-year-old billionaire and his wife, Jerry Hall, recently purchased a $200m Montana cattle ranch formerly owned by the Koch family, the largest ranch sale in the state’s history. The 137,593-hectare property, known as Beaverhead, is located near Yellowstone National Park.

Mr Murdoch, who controls a media empire that includes the Fox News Channel, is worth $9.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott donated almost $3.9bn in the past nine months to 465 organisations, including the largest-ever gift from one person to Planned Parenthood.

Ms Scott outlined her latest giving in a Medium post published on Wednesday, saying the aim of her philanthropy was “to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds”. Included in the total was $436m for Habitat for Humanity affiliates that was disclosed on Tuesday by the home-building non-profit group's San Francisco area chapter.

The list of recipients ranged from Boys & Girls Clubs to the Climate Justice Resilience Fund to the National Rural Health Association, but did not indicate how much each group received. In a separate statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America said it had received $275m from Ms Scott, the largest gift from a single donor in its history.

The latest tally brings her total donations to about $12.4bn in 1,257 grants since she signed the Giving Pledge in 2019.

In choosing how to contribute, her team of advisers focuses on areas of needs without assuming that they, or any one group, know how to fix it, she wrote in the blog post.

“We don’t advocate for particular policies or reforms,” Ms Scott said. “Instead, we seek a portfolio of organisations that supports the ability of all people to participate in solutions.”

Ms Scott, 51, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is single-handedly reshaping non-profit groups with her giving, donating to organisations tackling social welfare, education, arts, health and more.

She initially told organisations to keep her gifts secret until she made her own announcement in a blog post, which would include the cumulative amount of all her gifts. Late last year she pivoted, saying it was up to the organisations to share their grants.

In the newest blog post, Ms Scott said her team was working on building a website that would include a searchable database of her grants.

Ms Scott has a fortune of $55.7bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Igor Makarov

Russian billionaire Igor Makarov’s company sold more than half its stake in Canadian natural gas producer Spartan Delta, in one of the first known public divestments of a Canadian asset by a Russian since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Mr Makarov’s Areti Energy, which until the sale was the largest shareholder in Spartan Delta, sold 15 million shares, representing 9.8 per cent of the Calgary-based company, for C$8.10 ($6.44) per share, according to a statement on Monday by Makarov’s Switzerland-based company Areti Energy. Total proceeds were C$121.5m.

The purpose of the share sale is to generate immediate liquidity and reduce Areti’s overall economic exposure to Spartan
Areti Energy

“The purpose of the share sale is to generate immediate liquidity and reduce Areti’s overall economic exposure to Spartan,” the firm said in the statement. Mr Makarov, a former Russian cyclist, is not sanctioned in Canada. Areti still owns about 8.4 per cent of the company, the statement said. The firm did not reply to a request for comment.

Last month, the Canada government said it was examining assets of Russian oligarchs inside Canada and considering more sanctions.

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC in the English Premier League, is the largest shareholder in Evraz, which owns metal facilities in Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.

Alexander Abramov, Alexander Frolov, Evgeny Shvidler and Maxim Vorobyev are also among the top six shareholders in the steel and mining company, according to Bloomberg data.

Kumar Mangalam Birla

Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla's company, Hindalco Industries, will spend $7.2bn to expand its aluminium business over the next five years, as global supply shortages and strong demand prospects push prices towards unprecedented levels.

The company will invest the amount mainly across its businesses in India and North America. It has set aside about $2.4bn for its Indian aluminium operations during the five years ending March 2027 as it expects consumption to double in the next decade, it said in an investor presentation.

Novelis, a unit of Hindalco Industries, will invest $4.8bn in the US, Brazil, Asia and Germany during the period, including some expansions announced earlier.

Aluminium, used in everything from window frames to cans to car parts, jumped to a record level, exceeding $4,000 a tonne, earlier this month on fears of a deepening shortage following Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The Mumbai-based company is expanding its primary aluminium capacity in India after keeping it steady at 1.3 million tonnes over the past few years, as it expects prices to remain elevated amid supply constraints and strong demand.

In India, Hindalco plans to expand its Aditya Mahan smelter by 50,000 tonnes by March 2024. It said it was also considering adding another 180,000-tonne-a-year at the same location and setting up a 1 million-tonne-a-year alumina refinery in Odisha, among other expansion plans.

Hindalco expects India’s aluminium consumption to jump to about 8 million tonnes by March 2032 and copper use to more than double in the same period, it said.

As part of its India growth plans, it has also earmarked about $286m for its copper business and $459m for coal mine development, according to the presentation.

Updated: April 04, 2022, 5:00 AM