Greek-Russian media owner visits Cyprus sparking speculation


By Stelios Orphanides

Ivan Savvidi, a Russian businessman of Greek descent, is considering investing in Cyprus, including in the area of mass media which he disclosed during a recent visit, Alithia reported on Friday.

Savvidi, who according to his personal website is operating in Russia in the area of production and trading of food, beverage, and tobacco products, chairing the Rostov-on-Don Agrocom Group Holding Company, is also the owner of the Greek football club PAOK, based in Thessaloniki.

Alithia said that reports in other media, linking Savvidi with possible acquisition of TVOne, the television channel owned by the Church of Cyprus, were unfounded, although the Church is ready to discuss a probable sale.

On Wednesday, Savvidi, who boasts about his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his website, attended the inauguration ceremony in parliament and was seated on the ground floor, next to Attorney-general Costas Clerides and the head of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

“We live in the state that can ring up people around the idea of being rich country with happy people (sic),” Savvidi appears to be quoted on his website in the caption next to a picture showing him in a tete-a-tete with Putin. “I’m proud to be Russian citizen and I’ll always protect interests of my country (sic)”.

Savvidi is not a newcomer to the mass media business. In August last year, he acquired around one fifth of Greece’s Mega Channel from Greek businessman Fotis Bobolas for a consideration of €5m. Two months later, Savvidi sold his stake to Cyprus’s Elenovo Ltd, a company headquartered in the same building which houses the Limassol-based law firm Andreas Sofocleous and Co. LLC.

In July 2017, Savvidi also acquired two Greek newspapers, Ethnos, including its Sunday edition, and Imerisia, plus their logos for a total of €3.6m.

The newspapers were also affiliated with the Bobolas family.


About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Martin Standage

    If he is a friend of Putins that is definitely bad news!

    • gentlegiant161

      Plenty in Cyprus already and not all Russian….

  • AnalogMind

    Stay away from Savvidis; not only a close friend of Putin but also an oligarch the kind of which Cyprus can do without. In acquiring the Thessaloniki port he attracted German money when in fact everyone knows that Russia now will control the Thessaloniki port, which means Serbian involvement also. If you want to irritate the US then go ahead and make deals with Savvidis. Also not a favorite with the EU plans for Balkan integration.

    • a.s.e


  • almostbroke

    If he looks ‘hookey ‘ , sounds ‘hookey ‘ , he is ‘hookey ‘

  • Wanderer

    Great. More Putin’s cronies, now in the media.

  • David Hill

    Wonder how long comments will be allowed against “The interests of My country”?.

  • Sandie

    How has a man worth $760 million on paper invested close to half of that amount in Greece in less than a decade, when the government puts every obstacle possible in the way of real new investors? Allegations now being openly raised by the European press, along with concerns publicly voiced by the American ambassador in Athens, suggests that Ivan Savvidis is not what he
    appears to be: a member of Russia’s Duma: Is he a Putin man?

    He has bought in Greece a soccer team, a grand luxury hotel, a tobacco conglomerate, a water-bottling company, a fleet of beach resorts, a television station, a trio of newspapers, great stretches of coastline and blocs of Thessaloniki real estate, the port of Salonika and its industrial
    warehouses, plus Thessalonika Port.