Crimea is looking for an oligarch to sell Massandra for nothing

The Crimean State Council included Massandra on the privatization list for 2020.
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The legendary company with a collection of estimated cost of about 70 billion rubles, 10 thousand hectares of land on the southern coast of Crimea and the brand famous valued less than 0.63 billion rubles. Company Magazine understood why it was so cheap.

The Massandra Production Association was founded in 1894 by Prince Lev Golitsyn. In 2014, the Crimean authorities transferred it to the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation (hereinafter - UDP), and in February 2019, in preparation for privatization, the UDP returned Massandra to the republic.

The largest winery of the former USSR unites 9 wineries and wineries. 4000 hectares of its vineyards are stretched for 180 km along the southern coast of Crimea from Foros to Sudak, about 3600 hectares of them bear fruit. In total, Massandra has more than 10,000 hectares of land - fields, forests, lakes and farmland, which are not used for their intended purpose. The company employs about 2.5 thousand people, has its own social infrastructure.

This, without exaggeration, is the main asset of the Republic of Crimea, the last large and valuable asset that has not passed into private hands under Ukraine and has not yet passed under the Russian Federation. Why did the commission of the State Council of the republic on privatization estimate all this at such a modest amount - 627.4 million rubles?

This figure is in the “Fixed Assets” column in the balance sheet of the enterprise for 2018, which includes real estate, equipment of workshops, agricultural machinery, etc. Including depreciation and depreciation. Since the main workshops and cellars of Massandra were built more than half a century ago, and major repairs were carried out irregularly, their residual value in the documents may tend to zero, economists explain.

However, the total assets of Massandra at the end of 2018, according to the same balance sheet, amounted to almost 3.6 billion rubles. Including working stocks - wine produced at the enterprise - are estimated at 2.6 billion rubles.

Moreover, it is not said anywhere that the enterprise will be sold without working stocks. Not only would the sale of Massandra's real estate without wine, equipment and a collection in itself be vandalism comparable to the destruction of ancient ruins. Even assuming that someone will buy it in this form (for example, for building vineyards), all this will simply have nowhere to go. In 1942, before the Germans arrived, only the most valuable part of the Massandra collection was evacuated from Crimea. The rest of the wine flowed down the slopes into the sea, staining the waters of the Yalta rivulet in a blood-red color to the delight of half-drunk dogs. There were so many of him.

The value of intangible assets in the balance sheet is also modestly declared - only 2.8 million rubles. (less than 40 thousand dollars). Although the age-old brand “Massandra”, as well as individual wines of this brand, is priceless even by the standards of the domestic Russian market. Sherry from the Massandra collection is by far the most expensive in the world. In 2001, a bottle of Jerez de la Frontera in 1775 was sold at an auction in London for 43.5 thousand dollars.

Massandra produces about 20 million bottles of wine a year, which are exported to neighboring countries and China. The enterprise cannot deliver wine to Europe and the USA because of sanctions. In 2018, revenue grew by 72% compared to the previous year and amounted to 2.2 billion rubles., Net profit - 395 million.

How much can Massandra cost in the market?

“The standard method is to multiply profits by 4–7 times,” says Professor of Financial Management at REU named after G.V. Plekhanova Konstantin Ordov. - This is how investors usually evaluate business. However, you need to look at what else the company owns and whether it has assets that are not directly involved in production. ”

The main value of Massandra is species vineyards on the southern coast of Crimea. In 2015, Elias, associated with the owner of Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, bought the former Massandra vineyards in Gurzuf for the private winery Chateau Cotes de Saint Daniel. For a plot of 36.4 hectares at the first land auction in the Russian history of Crimea, the investor had to lay out 163 million rubles. - 4.5 million rubles each. per hectare.

But experts considered this price too high. The President of the Union of Russian Winegrowers and Winemakers Leonid Popovich quoted the figures: the cost of a hectare of vineyards in the Anapsky District of the Krasnodar Territory in 2015 ranged from 500 thousand to 1 million rubles. On brokerage sites, land for vineyards in Lyubimovka and Belbek near Sevastopol is offered at a price of 300 thousand rubles. per hectare.

But, firstly, this is Anapa. And secondly, suitable land for vineyards, even in Sevastopol, is more expensive - not to mention the golden hectares of the South Bank.

“All that is being sold in the Crimea now is Soviet-era vineyards,” says Pavel Shvets, a winemaker, owner of Uppa Winery. - They need to be uprooted and wait three years before something can be planted there. No one sells vineyards on modern seedlings with a modern trellis; they were planted to make wine. And the old vineyard is actually a burden for the land, it is better to buy empty land. Normal free land for a vineyard in the Crimea costs from 500 thousand to 3-4 million rubles. per hectare. In Rodny (a mountain village near Sevastopol. - Approx. "Ko"), for example, a hectare costs 3-4 million. "

The market value of a hectare on the South Coast is difficult to determine because there is no market on the South Coast, says Shvets. “There, almost all the vineyards belong to Massandra, and Massandra will obviously be sold in one lot,” the winemaker said.

Now do not laugh: the cadastral value of Massandra plots on the blessed South Bank is now about 100 thousand rubles. per hectare. Moreover, the cadastral value of citizens' plots in these places, after being equated to the market, starts at $ 5,000 per hundred square meters. But even at such Cinderella prices, the land of Massandra should cost more than 3 billion rubles.

And if you remove the land from agricultural circulation, as happened with the vineyards squeezed from Massandra in Ukraine, their value will soar altogether. According to the head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, in 1991, Massandra had 26 thousand hectares of land - two and a half times more than today. In the same Gurzuf, where Alekperov bought vineyards, the price of a hundred square meters for development can range from 500 thousand to 1.5 million rubles. - or up to 150 million rubles. per hectare.

Another attractive asset is the famous Massandra collection. This is the largest wine collection in the world, entered in 1998 in the Guinness Book of Records. It holds about 1 million bottles, including the oldest wine in the world, “Jerez de la Frontera”, harvested in 1775. In September 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi uncorked and drank one of the five remaining bottles in Crimea.

The Massandra collection is replenished annually, and some of the samples are sold. These wines are getting more expensive all the time. If in 2017 a bottle of “Sherry” of the first post-war crop, in 1944, cost 26.5 thousand rubles, today it is sold at a price of 115 thousand rubles. per bottle.

The cheapest collection wine - “Port Red Livadia” of the 1985 harvest - costs a little more than 7 thousand rubles. The most expensive - “Port red Massandra” of 1918 - 836 thousand rubles. 70% of the positions in the price range from 50 to 300 thousand rubles. That is, the market value of the collection may be more than 70 billion rubles.

The Republic of Crimea does not have economic sense to get rid of Massandra. The company stably generates profit, capitalization is growing, the value of the collection, too. The loan load is low - in 2018 it amounted to 165 million rubles. with retained earnings of more than 860 million rubles.

Why sell it?

The head of the Ministry of Property and Land Relations of Crimea Anna Anyukhina repeats the ideology familiar from the privatization of the 90s: the company is corporatized to increase the efficiency of production management. And he assures that no one is going to alienate Massandra from the property of Crimea.

It’s hard to believe in it: in August 2017, the minister promised in the same way that Crimea would corporate the Novy Svet winery in order to increase its efficiency and was not going to sell it. But already in November it was put up for auction, and in December it was sold to the structures of the Rossiya Bank.

Recall that at that time the state valued Prince Golitsyn’s winery near Sudak at 58 million rubles, and he left the Kovalchuk auction for just 1.5 billion. Then, the structures of the same Kovalchuk and Timchenko family received indirect control over the Inkerman vintage wine factory, which ex-governor of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov stubbornly beat Valery Shamotiya from a Ukrainian businessman.

If the difference between the book value and the market value of Massandra is the same, the company will go under the hammer for 12-15 billion rubles, which is five times lower than the value of its collection.

Perhaps she, too, will go to the Kovalchuk. The structures of Rossiya Bank provided assistance to Massandra, and the deputy general director of Massandra Denis Melnikov, who has been working part-time since 2018, heads the St. Petersburg management company My Wine. This company, as Vedomosti wrote in March of this year, manages the assets of Inkerman. And on May 21, Openmedia reported that in March 2019, Melnikov “lit up” as a member of the Massandra privatization working group created by Sergei Aksenov. At the enterprise, Melnikov is called "looking from the new owners."

Last year, Massandra celebrated its 125th anniversary. And the day in its entire history the enterprise was not in private hands. In 1889, the Specific Department of the Russian imperial family bought the vineyards and distillery near Yalta from the heirs of the governor of New Russia, Count Mikhail Vorontsov, paying with gold. And five years later he founded a winery.

Since then, Massandra has been in state ownership - 29 years under the Russian Empire, 73 years under the USSR, 23 years under Ukraine. Now it can go to new aristocrats for about 15 billion rubles. Almost free royal gift.