Apr 13, 2007
He has delighted generations of Russian children, but now Cheburashka, a cuddly cartoon character with oversize ears, is at the center of a multimillion-dollar bid to secure his rights. Alisher Usmanov, a metals mogul, says he wants to buy back the international rights to Cheburashka from the U.S. firm Films by Jove. Usmanov is ranked as Russia’s 25th richest man by "Forbes" magazine, with a fortune of $3.1 billion. The Moscow office of Usmanov’s Metalloinvest holding company told RFE/RL it would not comment on the deal until it had been completed. But Usmanov told Russian media this week the talks had been tough: he has offered $3 million for the cartoons, but Films by Jove want $10.