Alisher Usmanov
Arsenal shareholder Alisher UsmanovReuters

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has completed the purchase of Russia's answer to Facebook - VKontakte - for $1.5bn. The social platform has more than 270 million accounts.

Usmanov's company, the London-listed Mail.Ru, first invested in Russia's largest social media site in 2007 and has since gone on to invest $2.1bn in snapping up stock in the firm.

Now Usmanov, Arsenal's second largest shareholder, has purchased the remaining 48% in VKontakte, thus taking full ownership of the firm.

Mail.ru, VKontakte founder Pavel Durov, and United Capital Partners - which sold the shares to Usmanov's firm - have all been embroiled in a legal battle over the course of 2014 in regards to who is the legal owner of the social media site. However, all three confirmed that with the sale of the company, all legal proceedings will be dropped.

Mail.ru group chief Dmitry Grishin said: "The consolidation of 100% of VK and the termination of all outstanding shareholder disputes will allow focus on the product and its further development.

"We respect the successful results driven by VK's team and do not plan any significant changes in the team or the product itself. Moreover, we are ready to give the current team an opportunity to realize their plans and initiatives."

According to Forbes, Usmanov is Russia's wealthiest man with a fortune worth $18.8bn – almost double that of Chelsea's Russian oligarch who is apparently worth $9.6bn.