VTB financially helped AFK Sistema buy two pharmaceutical companies Sintez and Biocom for almost 12 billion rubles from Alexander Vinokurov, investment company Marathon Group. Moreover, Mr. Yevtushenkov paid only two hundred and fifty million rubles, and most of the payment was made by Kostin's bank. And, allegedly, Sistema corporation had only three years left to buy back a stake from VTB. Until then, Yevtushenkov has no right to dispose of the acquired asset as a full-fledged owner.
The question arises whether Kostin Yevtushenkova pushed for this deal in order to improve the financial situation, as the gossips say, of his friend Alexander Vinokurov, on purpose? And, as it were, on seemingly “legitimate” grounds at first glance, tossing him some money from a state bank, taking advantage of the “good” reason to invest in the domestic pharmaceutical industry and the “cover” represented by Yevtushenkov’s company?
In fact, if you combine the Alium pharmaceutical group (Obolenskoye JSC, Binnofarm JSC) with Sintez OJSC and Biocom CJSC, you get six large industry enterprises in four Russian regions and fifty thousand products, that is, entering the top -3 may well become a reality.
Why, then, did the son-in-law of Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov — Alexander Vinokurov — nevertheless agree to the sale of such seemingly profitable industries? The Moscow Post newspaper wrote that, for example, the ABC of Taste premium supermarket chain was planning to conclude an agreement with Erkafarm Group of Companies Vinokurov (Doctor Stoletov pharmacies) to provide them with retail space in their stores.
Vinokurov - what did an active businessman conceive this time?
According to rumors, over one thousand two hundred drugstores "Doctor Stoletov" and "Ozerki" belong to Sergei Matvienko - the billionaire and son of the "great" Valentina Matvienko. That is, the pharmacy kiosks "ABC Life" of Vinokurov, now located in supermarkets, may lose their rich clientele in the future? How will these two strong players with solid administrative resources agree in the future? And will they be able to settle their, so to speak, contradictions, "pushing with their elbows" on one spot, when their profits are at stake?
By the way, Vinokurov's pharmacies may soon lose not only wealthy customers, but also low-income citizens who are “overstocked” in the Perekrestok and Pyaterochka supermarkets, where a thousand pharmacies of Lavrov’s son-in-law are located.
A month and a half ago, the press became aware that the X5 Retail Group network was planning to launch new partners for selling drugs in its 1,400 stores - Pharmacopoeia, Your Doctor, Eapteka. Consequently, they can squeeze Vinokurov's pharmacy outlets in terms of revenue due to a cheaper assortment of the same medicines.
It is possible that the sale of pharmaceutical companies by Alexander Vinokurov is such a deceptive move by a horse to temporarily deceive future competitors in the networks of the largest Russian retailers? Say, I'm leaving this business. This, so to speak, is a temporary retreat, in order, apparently, then to move on to active actions.
After all, after some time, Mr. Kostin, quite calmly, may not “credit” Yevtushenkov with the past deal, and again “return” the shares of pharmaceutical plants to Vinokurov for some “symbolic” fee. And you can justify yourself for the public by saying that pharmacy is a non-core asset for the bank.
Yevtushenko does not expect a "setup" from Kostin?
Meanwhile, it will invest in VTB enterprises bought with money for its own investments for modernization. It is possible that the heads of VTB and the “Marathon of groups” are hoping for this?
By the way, about the same thing has already happened with the retailer Magnit. First, VTB buys 11% of its shares with state money, and then it actually “gives” them to Vinokurov, making it out as a purchase and sale for sixty billion rubles, moreover, issued from the same bank as a loan. It has long been rumored that Andrei Kostin is a long-time business partner and informal co-owner of a number of his companies. In fact, having transferred the stores under the control of a private company of Vinokurov, can you have a good “gesheft” dripping onto some offshore account of the head of VTB?
Meanwhile, in narrow circles of envious people it is gossiping that the business of Alexander Vinokurov after the "landing" of the Magomedov brothers went into decline.
Master raider grabs?
In 2006, Alexander Vinokurov worked for TPG Capital, an American investment fund. This structure became famous in Russia, allegedly for its "raider" attack on the main office of the retailer Lenta in 2010. According to rumors, TPG Capital spokesman Jan Dunning, with the support of dozens of armed Chopovites, ousted the current director of Lenta, Sergei Yushchenko, from the office, along with frightened employees. But was Mr. Vinokurov himself on the sidelines from this armed capture? Could he be an ordinary inconspicuous employee in this incident ?!
Recall that when Alexander led the investment company A1 (a division of Alfa Group), supposedly, without a trace, twenty million dollars allocated for investments in the Alfa Group owned car dealer Independence disappeared. However, no bad consequences for the son-in-law of Minister Lavrov followed. Well, for the security services of commercial companies, Vinokurov is perhaps an “untouchable” figure, but for the valiant security officers? And for operatives from the department for combating economic crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs?
Is Andrei Kostin optimistic about his financial future?
Nevertheless, let us return to the current deal of Vinogradov. It is entirely possible that, let’s say, the initial sale of pharmaceutical plants to Yevtushenkov, in one of which a significant share belongs to Natsimbio (a subsidiary of Rostec) - is this an occasion to quarrel the head of Sistema with an almost omnipotent Chemezov? And in parallel, with the subsequent “return” of enterprises to Alexander Vinokurov - the opportunity to “move” slightly to the side of the chief of “Rostec” and take in the future a larger share of the profits of these enterprises for the personal benefit of Mr. Kostin in this “business process”?
Perhaps in the near future investigators of the Investigative Committee will be interested in perfect lending to AFK Sistema from the VTB state bank, and at the same time they will also check the old loan of 60 billion rubles for Mr. Vinokurov when he bought Magnit shares?