The e-scooter operator Voi has confirmed that two of its shareholders with links to Russia have been removed by the company after international efforts spearheaded by West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
Mayor Norris has consistently called on the e-scooter provider to reconsider its controversial shareholders with Russian links.
Two of Voi’s shareholders came under the spotlight following Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Russian businessman Alexander Eliseev owned about £10.8 million worth of shares in Voi, according to Swedish newspaper Di. He was the founder of Globaltrans Investment Plc – one of the Russian firms suspended from the London Stock Exchange.
Spanish newspaper El Plural revealed that Gabriel Yushevaev had a 2.9 per cent stake in Voi. The multibillionaire, who has built up his fortune through nightclubs and gold, was on the so-called 2018 ‘Putin List’ drawn up by the US of 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs.
Mayor Norris led a national and international campaign against the company’s links with the Russian investors culminating in face-to-face talks in Bristol earlier this year where Swedish based Voi boss Fredrk Hjelm pledged to Mayor Norris to try to get the investors to part with their shares.
Commenting on the decision by Voi for the operator and Russian investors to part ways, Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I welcome this news from Voi. West of England residents told me time and again that they don’t support links with the murderous Putin and his cronies and they wouldn’t feel comfortable associating with a company with questionable shareholders. When the cases of Alexander Eliseev and Gabriel Yushevaev came to light I immediately told Voi my views and as local people may remember the CEO of Voi came to Bristol at my invitation for face to face talks. Since then I have continued to keep up the pressure and so I am pleased by this outcome. West of England residents are right to expect moral leadership and I am relieved that Voi have managed to be able to do the right thing”.