Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has bought a stake in a Leyland-based company.
Ambramovich and Zara Shvidler, the wife of one of his best friends, have taken a 1.5 per cent stake in Clean Air Power.
The company, which develops dual fuel engine management software for heavy duty vehicles, said it had raised £5m following the placing of 51.9m shares.
Clean Air Power, based in Aston Road, Leyland, said in a statement: “The company is particularly pleased that two new strategic investors took part in the placing; Ervington Investments, whose ultimate beneficial owner is Roman Abramovich, and Ms Zara Shvidler.”
The pair had agreed to subscribe, if necessary, to the entire placing which Clean Air Power said contributed significantly to the successful fundraising.
After “significant institutional interest”, Ervington and Shvidler will ended up with a 1.5 per cent stake said to be worth around £350,000 each.
The company added in the statement published yesterday: “The net proceeds of the placing will be used to strengthen the group’s balance sheet ahead of future partnerships, to supplement working capital and to support marketing and sales activities in Russia and the US.
“Russia is an increasingly important market for Clean Air Power with demand for natural gas vehicles expected to grow significantly as major Russian gas companies plan to invest heavily in expanding the gas refueling network.”
John Pettitt, chief executive of Clean Air Power said: “We are delighted to have completed a successful fundraising with strong support from existing and new shareholders.
“The investment by Ervington Investments and Ms Shvidler confirms the huge potential of our Dual-FuelTM technology and firmly endorses our strategy to develop markets in Europe, US and Russia.
“The trend towards the adoption of natural gas vehicles around the world is growing,” added Mr Pettit.