Dangerous ties: who helped Vladimir Evtushenkov in the oil business

The owner of AFK Sistema was released from house arrest, having given up Bashneft to thestate. The billionaire had made his bet on a wrong politician.
Origin source
The owner of AFK "Sistema" Vladimir Yevtushenkov released from house arrest, December 17, 2014, less than two weeks after the court's decision on withdrawal of "Bashneft" shares in favor of the state came into force. Reprivatization "Bashneft", which he had taken away the state, has become a major business stories of the year. From 15 July 2014, when an injunction against the operation with the package "Bashneft" shares has been imposed, the capitalization of the AFC "System" on the London Stock Exchange fell by almost five times. But only if Yevtushenkov no luck in this story? The transformation of "Bashneft" in the private oil company went on a long and intricate. Who was the main engine of the privatization, which so dramatically unfolded? Forbes investigation.

The participants of the economic forum in Sochi expected that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will speak about the entrepreneur Vladimir Yevtushenkov. Since the arrest of the owner of AFK "System" in the case of theft of shares "Bashneft" has been three days, but the president and the prime minister remained silent. The plenary session on September 19 Medvedev talked about the Civil Waris, in Ukraine, on the western sanctions, and that the pressure on the Russian useless. About Evtushenkova - not a word. After the speech Medvedev on the sidelines of the forum he said: "Wait, maybe soon there will be news." And indeed, after a few hours on the tapes agencies and websites have appeared that Evtushenkova released from house arrest.

A friend of a businessman, President of RSPP, Alexander Shokhin learned Evtushenkova the release of one of the journalists. "Yes, it can not let go, it will be the court to decide", - Shokhin objected. But just in case and I decided to check out called "Petrovich." Yevtushenkov said. Businessman happy call. "I do not doubt that you will support me. Thank you, thank you very much, that you stood on my defense, "- said Yevtushenkov (a few days earlier Shokhin asked the investigation under his personal guarantee to release Evtushenkova). "How are you?" - Said Shokhin. Yevtushenkov told that the investigator with a cheerful fun name allowed him to turn the phone on and go to work, but his status has not changed - it is still under house arrest.

AfterYevtushenkov conversation with President of the RSPP came back into the room, where just started one of the sections of the forum. But then, says one of the witnesses of these events, to Shokhin approached a man and asked him to follow him. "You'd like to see Medvedev", - he said. On the same day Shokhin told reporters that he was able to talk with the Prime Minister of Evtushenkova: "We came to the conclusion that now we can talk about two things. First, the court still has to decide (on the abolition of house arrest or extension), and the second: in fact can be changed any conditions of house arrest. "

Three months later, the situation is clear. "Bashneft" returned to the state, Evtushenkova house arrest extended until 16 March 2015, and the "relief from the investigator Veseleva" canceled - businessman go to work any longer.

According to observations of a friend of the Prime Minister, Medvedev genuinely experiencing due Evtushenkova, feels personally responsible for what is happening, and even guilt.

In the narrow circles Yevtushenkov does not hide the fact that Medvedev has SUPPORTEDhis projects, Forbes told several acquaintances of the entrepreneur. AFK "System" has taken control of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex in the days of Medvedev's presidency. Was it a coincidence?

Historic incident

Sergei Stepashin headed the Accounting Chamber from the beginning of the 2000s, but first came to Bashkiria in September 2010. Two months before that, he received from the hands of President Dmitry Medvedev's order "For Service to the Fatherland» I degree, resigned the permanent head of the republic, a political heavyweight of the Yeltsin era Murtaza Rakhimov. The new head of the republic Rustem Khamitov, replacing Rakhimov of "RusHydro", called for the country's chief auditor to assist in removing the debris after its predecessor, says a former employee of the Chamber of Accounts. At a meeting in the House of the Republic of Bashkortostan Stepashin accused the former leadership of undermining the economy of the region: "Alas, today Bashkortostan lost almost all their property as a property of the republic. For how much, who and how to sell, you also know very well. <...> One of the main problems today is hIsla and the Accounts Chamber of Russia, - to conduct diagnostics: for how much, who, what and where to buy, and how that led '. For the "diagnosis", he promised to send its specialists to Bashkiria.

"Everyone who heard the speech Stepashin, understood it quite clearly," - says the source of the words of Forbes conference participant. Chairman of the Accounting Chamber said about the loudest privatization Historical Murtaza Rakhimov - sale enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex, located in the Republic of property. At that time, the assets already owned by AFK "System". Did Stepashin articulated solution to their power away? About an hour after the speech Medvedev Stepashin called him, and then questions on the privatization of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex at the head of the Accounting Chamber has not occurred, a source told Forbes words with party meetings. That re-examine the circumstances of the privatization is not necessary, quickly made it clear to himself Khamitov, says a former employee of the Chamber of Accounts. Khamitov representative did not respond to questions about the Bashkir fuel and energy complex.

Stepashin will present through itsI told Helen Moses of Forbes, that Medvedev had not called him, and his statements were interpreted incorrectly. "He made it clear that privatization is planned inspection, but when it is not defined," - says Moses. However, landing inspection actually landed in Bashkortostan: the state of affairs in the country tested seven out of 12 of the Accounting Chamber auditors continues Forbes said. It was not in the final report of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector privatization analysis.

Righteous anger Stepashin to the former leadership of Bashkiria seven years after privatization looked pretty strange, because it is the Accounting Chamber revealed violations in 2003, committed in the privatization of enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex. This scandalous test conducted auditor Vladislav Ignatov. He no longer works in the Chamber of Accounts, but the details of that history remembers down to the numbers. In Soviet times, Bashkiria was one of the main oil-producing regions of the country. But even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, oil production there declined, and in 1990 reached the minimum - 12 million tons per year.

Refineries could become part created in the early 1990s, notftyanyh companies: something should get to "Rosneft", something - "Surgutneftegaz" and "Lukoil", said Ignatov, who graduated from University of Petroleum and Gas. Gubkin. But Rakhimov managed to keep the company in the republic of property. In the late 1990s, "Novo-Ufa Refinery" ( "Novoil"), Ufa Refinery, "Ufaneftekhim", "Bashneft", "Ufaorgsintez", "Bashnefteproduct" and "Bashkirenergo" by order of the Bashkir authorities passed a Republican "Bashneftekhim" and "Bashkir fuel company", and in August 2002, President Rakhimov allowed "Bashneftekhim" BTK and sell its assets. But while all oil companies in the country waiting for the privatization of Bashkir refineries - the most modern refinery in the country, it revealed that they have already been privatized.

"We then conducted a planned inspection Property of Bashkortostan regarding transfers to the state budget funds received for the shares owned by the state; all were paid 56 million rubles. And we found a picture: Rakhimov Senior shares [of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex] "beautifully led" and Paximov Jr. with the environment that ran, "- he said. Instead of an open privatization "Bashneftekhim" and extended a BTK shares of companies in the seven unknowns LLC, founders of which were unknown individuals. Ltd. These, in turn, put them in the charter capital of the company "Bashkir capital". "This is an unprecedented case of theft of assets of federal property in the history of Russian oil refining companies. We will raise this issue with the president and the government and ask the Prosecutor General to take action against the Bashkir authorities, which clearly exceeded their authority, "- said in July 2003, the auditor Ignatov.

"His statement we made them nervous," - says Ignatov today. After verification of the Accounting Chamber of seven company sold shares in "Bashkir capital" enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex, looped so that the ownership structure. Later it became known that "Bashkir capital" - the structure of Ural Rakhimov.

"Why Murtaza Rakhimov did it?" - Asks the former official rulerstva Bashkiria and answers himself: "It was a way of defense: thus he hoped to discount a possible competitor to win the elections."

President of Bashkortostan elections were scheduled for December 2003, and Rakhimov quite reasonably afraid to lose. In the Bashkir president had strained relations with Vladimir Putin, which is considered an alternative figure to head of Bashkiria.

A longtime friend of the owner of the Industrial Bank President Sergei Pugachev nominated Sergei Veremeyenko. "The guy works in my bank, I was born in Bashkiria. Soldier, as you like. What do you say, then do "- though Putin assured Pugachev.

According Pugachev engage in campaign Veremeyenko instructed the deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitry Medvedev and Vladislav Surkov. And everything went according to plan, continues the source Forbes: Rakhimov could not win in the first round. But in the second before the vote (second round came Veremeyenko) Rakhimov came to Putin and "literally at the feet lay", begging for forgiveness, telling familiar president and former officialsBashkiria government nickname. Putin it eventually forgiven. Veremeyenko fizzled out, saying that does not claim the highest office in the country. Rakhimov Sr. kept his seat. One of the conditions of "forgiveness" was the return of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector in the state ownership, says one of the interlocutors Forbes. At the same time management and planning of the transaction was instructed Deputy Chief of Staff Igor Sechin. But to fulfill the promise of Rakhimov was in no hurry.

In February 2005, the prosecutor of Bashkortostan occurred reshuffle. Prosecutor of the republic became a classmate Dmitri Medvedev, Alexander Konovalov (now Minister of Justice), and his deputy - Salavat Karimov, the investigator for particularly important cases of the Prosecutor General, among whom were the Yukos affair. Media then wrote that before Konovalov and Karimov had a task to check the privatization of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex. And on 1 March Rakhimov he canceled his decree permitting "Bashneftekhim" BTK and selling companies of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex. A former employee of the government of Bashkiria does not know whether Rakhimov decision is connected with the arrival of the de-privatization of public prosecutors,but he says that at that time the father and son were at odds Rakhimov, which was caused by the political ambitions of Rakhimov, Jr. (father decided to punish him). Of Property has filed several lawsuits to "Bashkir capital" with the requirement to return the company Mining and won all courts.

But Rakhimov environment to reconcile father and son, having set them to the negotiating table, said participant of those events.

In June 2005, of Property and Bashkortostan "Bashkir capital" was signed in the court settlement. According to this document, for the privatization of energy companies Rakhimov Jr. had to pay about 13 billion rubles in the budget of the republic. Perhaps that's why he started looking for a partner - he needed money, Forbes suggested one of the interlocutors. But Yevtushenkov always wanted to do with oil, adds a former employee of one of the structures of AFK "System". As it follows from the testimony of former Senator Izmestieva Igor, who is serving a life sentence for murder, a mediator between Rakhimov Jr. and was Yevtushenkov businessman Levon Hayrapetyan.

The acquisition of the "system" in the first packetsBashkir companies for $ 469.6 million took place in August 2005. At the time the assets were still controversial. The prosecutor's office of Bashkortostan headed by Konovalov tried to challenge the settlement agreement and Property of the Republic "Bashkir capital". But after the arrival of the "System" in the Bashkir fuel and energy prosecutors enthusiasm quickly waned. In September 2005, the prosecutor of Bashkortostan Konovalov said that the return of the republic ownership in factories there is no way, then left the office. Within a month after the "System" increased its stake in the Bashkir fuel and energy companies, paying $ 143.7 million. Vladimir Yevtushenkov, according Izmestieva, he was well aware that "the shares are illegally owned Ural Rakhimov," but "purchased assets are problematic ".

Article special applications

Audit Chamber and the Prosecutor's Office of Bashkortostan not the only ones in mid zero unsuccessfully tried to return the Bashkir fuel and energy companies to the state. His work and the beginning of the Federal Tax Service, which then led Anatoly Serdyukov. According to a former employee of the Federal Tax Service, ethe case is supervised by a relative of the then Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, Anton Ustinov, who in those years headed the legal department of the service and according to officials close to Igor Sechin (from 2008 to 2012 Ustinov worked in the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin). In 2006 the tax authorities carried out checks "Bashkir capital" and revealed evasion of 42 billion rubles of taxes. As follows from the arbitration courts, after a deal with the AFC "System" in March-April 2006 "Bashkir capital" transferred his remaining shares in Bashkir fuel and energy complex of four charities - "Ural", "Agidel", "Yuryuzan" and "Inzer ". Those, in turn, established four Ltd. - "Ural-Invest", "Agidel-Invest", "Yuryuzan-Invest" and "Inzer-Invest", investing in their shares of the authorized capital of enterprises, received from "Bashkir capital". All these operations were performed for two weeks. In court, representatives of charitable funds have explained that the shares transferred from the assets in the company to earn profit that plannedcamping direct to the charity.

In summer 2007, the Moscow Arbitration Court took the side of the tax on all four FTS claims to new controlling shareholder. The verdict: at the Company did not have the task to engage in charity, and all participants in the process - "Bashkir capital", charity funds and their "daughters" - to evade taxes that must be paid "from sales transactions or other disposal of securities," said in the determination of the court. And if the purpose of all these operations on the movement of shares was tax evasion, the court found the transaction "nasty principles of public order and morality", and therefore null and void (article 169 of the Civil Code). According to the same article, all the resulting void transaction can be collected in the budget.

Arbitration Court satisfied the requirement of the tax, stating give enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy state. Group of Anton Ustinov's managed to win lawsuits for "Yuryuzan" and "Agidel" and appeal, and suddenly in January 2008, the Court of Appeal set aside the claim for "Inzer", and the fourthsecond claim - for "Ural" - returned for retrial to the first instance. The case somehow stalled.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation with the application of Article 169 of the Civil Code, which made it possible to apply the confiscatory penalty for so-called anti-social transactions, - says a former employee of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the device. - When the additional charge is made on the basis of the Tax Code, the budget gets only the back taxes on the basis of the adjusted transaction price. That is, conventionally 18 rubles VAT on a transaction in the amount of 100 rubles. And in the case of the 169 th article of the Civil Code in the budget all transferred in the transaction falls, that is 100 rubles. Apparently, this was the reason for the activity of the tax authorities in the scope of this article. It was a big problem in practice, because this know-how, invented by the tax authorities to simplify their lives by causing reasonable objections: you also have the Tax Code a special mechanism - price controls, allowing to carry out additional charges. Why is it you do not use? Because the additional charge on the basis of price controls - a slozhno, we have a lot to prove. And Article 169 is straight as an ax: taxes are paid - means transactions against good morals, then, is negligible under Art. 169 of the Civil Code, then all to the budget. "

In early April 2008 Plenum of the Supreme Arbitration Court banned the deal recognize the opposing principles of public order or morality merely because it is made for tax evasion. The document signed by the chairman of EAC Anton Ivanov, Dmitry Medvedev classmate. Former employee YOU apparatus denies that the decision of the plenum of the Court has been prepared specifically for the case under the Bashkir fuel and energy, and says that during his career had never encountered with the production of clarification "to order" for a particular situation: "YOU sought to restrict the article 169, because the Civil Code have confiscatory penalties - is beyond common sense. Seizures should be in the Criminal Code, the Administrative Code, that is, where there is a presumption of innocence. By the way, it is necessary to note that Article 169 of the Civil Code subsequently changed and the total confiscation sanction has been excluded from it. "
Either way, the decision of the plenum EAC on the application of Article 169 of the Civil stopped a group of Anton Ustinov step from collection of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector in the state.

And while trying to clarify the tax occurred at the Constitutional Court, in November 2008, Ural Rakhimov handed factories in AFK "System" control. Even then it was clear that the sale of assets is not far off. In January 2009, the Internal Revenue Service withdrew their cases without explanation. The arrest was made with shares on April 3 and April 8 already Bashkir fuel and energy complex, which has no one claims were not officially received the new owner.

Familiar Evtushenkova assure that the acquisition of a controlling stake in Bashkir companies knew and Dmitry Medvedev.

Getting the "System" control package in "Bashneft" consistent with President Dmitry Medvedev and his aide Arkady Dvorkovich, a senior federal official confirmed. He believes Yevtushenkov took an agreement with Medvedev as a defense against possible problems with the asset to which Yevtushenkov eventually pushedsmiling.

Anton Ivanov, who now teaches law at the Higher School of Economics, and Anton Ustinov, who became assistant to the president, declined to comment for this article, a representative of the Federal Tax Service did not comment on the case of "Bashneft".

Big Oil for a small company

At the disposal of the AFC "System" was almost all that is needed for the oil business, to do so would that Yevtushenkov: modern oil factories, sales network. It lacked only its own production. Less than half of the oil arrives at the Bashkirian refineries, mining itself "Bashneft" (the rest of the power plants was charged with other oil companies). By early 2009, it was a very small oil company - tenth the size of the country to mining 11.7 million tons per year. For comparison: in 2008, "Lukoil" has extracted 95.24 million tons of oil, "Surgutneftegaz" - 61.7 million tons, "Rosneft" - 110.1 million tons.

It was clear that the development of "Bashneft" urgent need to step up its own production. "In an industry seriously we talked about plans Evtushenkova gather into one combined company," Russnebe "," Tatneft "and" Bashneft ", - says Forbes source in one of the companies mentioned.

The "Russneft" and "Bashneft", as it turned out, a lot in common - the company owner "RussNeft" Mikhail Gutseriev tax authorities also tried to sue in state revenue for the same 169-th article of the Civil Code - evasion at 7 billion rubles in taxes (excluding it considered claims for alleged tax transfer pricing by more than 20 billion rubles). Announcing the unprecedented pressure on yourself, Gutseriev sold the company to Oleg Deripaska's structures, and he went to London. of the tax case against the "Russneft" fell apart, as in the case of "Bashneft", after the April 2008 Plenum explanation YOU year. "With Yevtushenkov I met in London at the end of 2009, when all tax claims were withdrawn from me, - he said in an interview with" Vedomosti "Gutseriev. - The conversation went about my return, how to properly convey to the officials that I unjustly condemned. Yevtushenkov unselfishly decided to help me. He played a role [in the] To bring the truth to the high-ranking officials. Personal interests he had, he helped to clear my name and did not ask for it. " After returning to Russia Gutseriev returned "RussNeft" and sold 49% of his company AFK "System". "Evtushenko I first proposed 49% free" Russneft ", given that there is a debt of $ 7 billion and the market value of the company is zero. But he refused, and paid $ 100 million ", - assured Gutseriev.

Forbes source in one of the oil companies said that unite the owner of "Russneft" would not, when plans to merge with asset Gutseriev failed, Yevtushenkov somewhat lost interest in this idea, ultimately deciding to concentrate on "Bashneft" (later, in 2013 "system" sold a stake in "RussNeft" for $ 1.2 billion).

Around the same time, the government was preparing a competition for promising deposits them. Trebs and Titov with total reserves of more than 200 million tons. The desire to get these oil-bearing areas declared then all leading oil companies of the country. Application of "Lukoil", "Gazprom Neft", TFor BP, Rosnedra's ONGC rejected taking applications only "Bashneft" and "Surgutneftegaz". Last did not list an advance, and "Bashneft" was the only bidder. With a minimum step of the starting price Bashkir company received deposits of 18.5 billion rubles.

The contest was honest, insisted in a recent interview with Forbes, President "Bashneft" Alexander Corsica.

However, an acquaintance of the Prime Minister and the "System" owner said that to address the competition without the support of the president would be "too bold act" - in fact, it is meant to challenge Igor Ivanovich Sechin.

"Rosneft" company, which was then headed by Sechin in rank chairman and Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, also wanted to get a license for Trebs and Titov. "Rosneft" did not apply because of the conditions of the competition, he told Forbes Hudaynatov Eduard, who was then a company. The winner was to ensure the processing of at least 42% of the oil produced at its Russian refineries and sell at least 15% of the extracted raw materials for the goodsbut-raw stock exchange in Russia. "The government has made such conditions must, in order to balance those enterprises that have already been processing and production was not" - he explains.

All the key figures in this story knew that "Bashneft" is not defenseless, continued Forbes companion: there were no phone calls, conversations and even more orders, but all who should be given time to understand that this contest and the license must be in " Bashneft ". "It may seem that affiliation in a competition - is some kind of extreme event, something out of the ordinary extraordinary, but it is not - says the employee of one of the oil companies. - In some cases, when we know that the winner is predetermined in the competition, we do not even apply for. In some cases, it reached the point of absurdity. Application unfolded due to the fact that the text in a word was misspelled. It is normal practice. Such contests "Bashneft", as Trebsa and Titov was more. "

However, strategic deposits (with total reserves of 150 million tons) before and after Trebsa and Titov "Bashneft" has not receivedla. The company has won several competitions in small areas, including adjacent to the deposits it. Trebsa and Titov in the Nenets Autonomous District.

For mining "Bashneft" has attracted a partner who had the appropriate infrastructure in the production region, - "Lukoil". Shortly after the contest the company established a joint venture "Bashneft-Polus" and asked Rosnedra renew the license for the joint venture. Problems have arisen.

The political game

However, the problems started after the presidential election in 2012, Putin returned to the Kremlin, Medvedev - the White House, and Sechin became the president of "Rosneft". In May 2012, Rosnedra headed by one of the henchmen Sechin, Alexander Popov. A few days after his appointment he canceled the transfer of a license to deposit them. Trebsa and Titov JV "Bashneft" and "Lukoil", and then all decided to check out the legitimacy of the contest, the winner of which was "Bashneft". But in his post Popov worked for a long time: in July 2013. Medvedev sent his resignation. The newspaper "Izvestia" withciting its sources wrote that sought dismissal Popova, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoi and profiled Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, citing delays by Rosnedra to transfer rights to Trebs and Titov oil fields. Both members of the government were in Dmitry Medvedev's team.

In May 2014 he completed the reorganization of "Bashneft" (the transition to a single share with the rest of the enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector and the abolition of the ring structure of ownership) in preparation for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. And at the same time the joint venture "Bashneft" and "Lukoil" managed to return the license to mine them. Trebs and Titov. But a month earlier it had opened a criminal investigation into the theft of the enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector, based on the testimony of a former senator Izmestieva. In this case are Ural Rakhimov, Levon Hayrapetyan himself Yevtushenkov. Rakhimov Jr. lives abroad and is internationally wanted, Hayrapetyan was detained in July, and Yevtushenkov to be under house arrest until March 2015. "Yevtushenkov broke many rules adopted among oil playersgas sphere. And that many of them he did not want and could not forgive, - says the manager of a major oil company. - If, say, "Lukoil" has the infrastructure in the region, which are developed and Trebsa Titov, it was logical to give it to deposit it. But that would make "Bashneft" with her without falling prey Trebsa and Titov? Who she was so interesting today? "

A spokesman for Prime Minister Natalia Timakova did not respond to a request for Forbes. Representatives of the AFC "System" and "Bashneft" declined to comment on the topic Medvedev business impact of the oil company. "Yevtushenkov knows many dignitaries, so to speak about the involvement of some groups simply wrong", - said Forbes familiar businessman. Representatives of the Investigative Committee, Ministry of Natural Resources and Rosnedra on Forbes requests are not answered.

"The whole story (with" Bashneft ") held on political arrangements. At one point in this arrangement is cracking, "- says a former top manager of the investment bank, in the group of one of the state banks.

"Employee"System" is constantly alluded to the connection with Medvedev. I would not rule out that it was one of the types of psychological effects on competitors - to keep it out - says a former official of the Government of Bashkiria. - In any case, all of the major states formed by risk. Yevtushenkov's case - it is a signal to anyone who expects that political agreements provide absolute protection. "