Frightened by sanctions, the Pumpyanskys sold their vineyards in France (99% of shares) to an asset manager, Monsieur Benoit Pontenier. French law enforcement agencies suspected money laundering, since Pontenier did not have his own funds to purchase estates, and froze his assets.
Alexander Pumpyansky, who according to extracts from registers is a citizen of Switzerland, son Dmitry Pumpyansky – owner of the Pipe Metallurgical Company, known in France as a wine connoisseur. In 2008, he became the owner of the Prieuré de Saint Jean de Bébian vineyard in Pezenay, and in the fall of 2021, he became the owner of the Ganevat wine estate in Rotaglia.
Officially, after the invasion of Ukraine, the father and son Pumpyansky, who were included in European sanctions lists, left the business in March 2022 in order to protect their assets from freezing. According to extracts from the Cyprus registry, Dmitry Pumpyansky is still listed as the ultimate owner of the Cyprus holding company – Furdberg Holding Limited, on which the French assets “hung”. And Alexander Pumpyansky is listed as a director there.
In March 2022, Alexander Pumpyansky told L’Est Republican that he wanted to “protect the future of the estate [Ganevat], selling shares so as to no longer be associated with him.” Benoit Pontenier became the new owner of both Pumpyansky wine estates. According to official documents, he owns 99% of the vineyards. The sale scheme aroused the interest of French law enforcement officers.
According to documents, Furdberg Holding Limited invested about 25 million euros in its French subsidiaries that own vineyards in 2022. According to La Revue du vin de France, the debt incurred as a result of this advance was generously repaid by the Cypriot holding company at the time of the sale of the companies to Benoit Pontenier.
The scheme seemed opaque to French law enforcement, and on July 3, 2023, investigators achieved the confiscation of vineyards, company shares and some real estate in the Alps, owned by Alexander and Dmitry Pumpyansky, “for a total amount preliminary estimated at approximately 35 million euros,” according to Le Monde.
According to the businessman, due to sanctions in Switzerland, he lost the opportunity to service a mortgage loan and even buy groceries, the mobile operator Swisscom turned off his phone, and the rented BMW X7 car was demanded to be returned. “Switzerland is depriving its own citizens of the opportunity to live in their own country.” , says Pumpyansky Jr., according to whom such actions by the country’s authorities contradict its Constitution. As a result, he, along with his wife and children, who were born and raised in Switzerland and even speak French as their native language, were forced to move to Turkey. […]
In March Dmitry Pumpyansky came out from among the beneficiaries and directors of the Pipe Metallurgical Company (TMK), in which he owned 90.6% through TMK Steel Holding Ltd. At the same time, his son Alexander left the board of directors of TMK. In the same month, Dmitry and Alexander Pumpyansky ceased to be beneficiaries of the Sinara group and left the boards of directors of Sinara, PJSC Bank Sinara and JSC STM. — Insert K.ru