Chinese game of Gennady Timchenko

The businessman told about his new hockey club, business interests in China and disclosed his family's share in Stroytransneftegaze.
The businessman Gennady Timchenko and his family own at least 50% of one of the largest Gazprom contractors, Stroytransneftegaz. "My partners there are my family," said Timchenko on the question of ownership of the company. The businessman said that his family did not have the control, but at least half (quotes by nterfax). Volga Group representative that manages the assets of Timchenko confirmed that the company owns 31.5% in Stroytransneftegaz, but refused to disclose the other owners of the construction company.

Stroytransneftegaz is the second in terms of revenue (188.3 billion rubles in 2015, more recent data are not available) contractor of Gazprom; it is second only to Stroygazmontazh owned by Arkady Rotenberg (279.5 billion rubles.), according to SPARK-Interfax. Net profit of Stroytransneftegaza in 2015 amounted to 10.5 billion rubles. The company reports that it participates in all strategic pipeline projects in Russia. Among them -are Southern Corridor, Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean, Bovanenkovo - Ukhta and Ukhta - Torzhok, Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok. The amount of contracts of Stroytransneftegaza from 2013 to 2016 increased by 33 times: from 7.8 billion to 259.2 billion rubles, while their number rose from 10 to 77, as follows from the data of SPARK-Interfax.

The bulk of the contracts recorded in the database refer to Gazprom and its subsidiaries. In 2013-2015, Stroytransneftegaz also had orders from Transneft. Now the most significant contracts are for construction of a gas pipeline to China, Power of Siberia, development of the Chayandinskoye field, expansion of the compressor station Polar and ground system Ukhta - Torzhok, which will transport gas through the projected North Stream - 2.

But the contractor's contribution to the key projects of Gazprom is not limited to pipelines. Recently it became known about a new contract of Stroytransneftegaz: the company will build for Gazprom a regasification terminal for liquefied natural gas in the Kaliningrad region for 21.3 billion rubles. "In the next three years, we can see a lot of work for us, and in the construction industry the three-year horizon means a lot," says a person close to the company. The representative of Stroytransneftegaz did not respond to questions of Vedomosti.

It is possible that in 2017 the amount of Stroytransneftegaz's contracts will grow again: not all segments of the Power of Siberia are distributed among the contractors; there are also missing sectors in the connecting pipeline Gryazovets - Vyborg, says partner of RusEnergy Mikhail Krutikhin. When mega projects will be finished, there may be new projects, he continues: "I think, to satisfy the appetites of contractors something else will be found. Let us recall the fantastic idea of building a gas pipeline from Russia to India. Commercial efficiency is extremely questionable, but every year a number of delegations come to Moscow and vice versa to discuss the issue."

When large construction projects run out, the reconstruction will remain: many pipelines are 40-50 years old, as optimistically says a person close to Stroytransneftegaz. The company may also be reoriented to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, says the director of Small Letters Vitaly Kryukov. The company is also thinking about this possibility, acknowledges the source of Vedomosti.

Timchenko shared a plan to invest in the construction of the regasification terminal in China, but did not disclose details. "My investment in China is only in the field of sport," he said. "In particular, I ama  co-owner of Kunlun Red Star, which is now playing in the KHL <...> I see great promise in the development of the commercial component, the Chinese market is huge." (Interfax quotes).

In June 2013 the company Arena Events Oy (Timchenko has 50%, Rotenberg brothers - also 50%) bought 100% shares of Hartwall Arena, the home stadium of the Finnish hockey team Jokerit.

Gas, coal pipes, water and rails

Timchenko through Volga Group and OOO Volga group owns stakes in Novatek (gas company), Sibur (gas processing and petrochemical company), Colmar (mining company), Stroytransgaz group (which includes construction assets), Akvanika (production of drinking water), Alma group (producer of apples), TransOil (railway operator) and other assets.

Later Timchenko and Rothenberg bought 49% stake in the club Jokerit, which was one of the conditions of purchase of the stadium. In 2014, after the imposition of sanctions, Rotenberg brothers transferred their stake in the Arena Events Oy to Boris Rotenberg's son Roman. Another 0.5% of  Arena Events Oy Timchenko sold to Roman Rotenberg, reducing the stake in the company to 49.5%. According to the representative of Timchenko,  thebusinessman remains a minority shareholder of the hockey club. What is his share Jokerit is uknown.

Hockey club Kunlun Red Star was founded in 2016 to participate in the CHL. The club's debut season in 57 games scored 83 points and is sixth in the league standings of the Eastern Conference comprised by 16 teams, so it has a chance to get into the playoffs of Gagarin Cup.

Both Jokerit, and Kunlun Red Star play in the KHL, Timchenko is also chairman of the board of directors of the KHL. "Rules of the KHL do not impose restrictions on the number of clubs that can be supported by any person or entity. The League has no reason to consider this situation as a conflict of interest, which could violate the norms of existing regulations," said in response of the press service of the KHL to the request of Vedomosti.

On the one hand, China is now actively developing the sport, having the plan to increase the size of the sports industry to $750 billion by 2025, says the partner at Deloitte Sharif Galeev; this is a very ambitious goal, considering that the global industry is estimated at $150 billion. China is looking for new niches development and sport fully meets these requirements. Most noticeable it is now in football: the Chinese invested not only at home, buying foreign players worldwide (Hulk's salary is as in top European football: EUR 20 million), but also buy European clubs (Atletico, Manchester City), reminds Galeev. But, he continues, Kunlun Red Star is having problems with attendance: the record of their home arena is 2400 viewers at 4,500-capacity stadium, which reflects the interest of the Chinese to hockey.

But if you can win the support of major investors and administrative support both in China and in Russia, then this sport has all the chances for development, said Galeev. Especially in Russia, this is the sport loved by us and the leadership of the country, it is likely it may become a tool for the establishment of an informal channel for rapprochement between China and Russia both politically and from a cultural point of view, the expert concludes.