Fishing bankers: how Moscow financiers seized the largest fishing company of Sakhalin

Who leads in the competition for catching crabs in the Barents Sea, how fishing can lead to bankruptcy, and why the company "Tunaicha" goes to the bottom.
13.06.2017
Forbes
Origin source
On March 28, 2017, the former co-owner and chairman of the board of Interprombank, Sergei Kireev, was declared bankrupt, and in late April his ex-wife Larisa became bankrupt - together with him she was a co-borrower for one of the loans. All the property of Kireev will soon be described and mostly sold out. The former banker is at a loss and yet does not understand what to do next. Before personal bankruptcy he was brought fishing.

Seven years ago he decided to engage in real business and in two stages became the owner of 100% of the major Sakhalin fishery company "Tunaicha". Founder of the "Tunaichi" Anatoly Filippov accused the Moscow financier of raider capture, but the trial ended in favor of Kireyev. Now Kireev himself accuses of illegally seizing "Tunaichi" another Moscow financier. Meanwhile, the company, which was considered one of the most modern and successful in the industry, is sinking.

Hi-tech

The proposal, which is difficult to refuse, Sergei Kireev received in March 2010. Anatoly Filippov and his son Sergey told Kireyev at a meeting in Moscow that they are ready to give half of the family company Tunaicha to new partners for the sake of business expansion. The Filippovs were credited to Interprombank and returned the loans neatly, the company's revenue was about 700 million rubles, and the profitability of the business reached 40-50%. Kireev just sold his stake in the bank and was looking for where to invest money.

"In the" Interprom "Filippov paid off everything in full and on time. And I still had positive impressions of him. A normal enterprise, a good borrower, "Kireev told Forbes. Alone to invest in the fish business, he did not dare, and offered to participate in it to two of his friends. For $ 35 million, investors from Moscow received 50% of one of the most advanced enterprises of the fishing industry of Russia.

On September 3, 2000, Sakhalin officials remembered for a long time. On the island before a visit to Japan for just one day flew Russian President Vladimir Putin. Almost all the events in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk were regular: the laying of wreaths at the monument to the fallen in the Great Patriotic War, a conference on production sharing agreements with foreign investors, a visit to the settlement built for the victims of the 1995 earthquake. And only the trip to the Korsakovsky region on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk was spoiled by the weather. The storm and strong wind could prevent local authorities from showing Putin the most modern fish processing plant in the region. "In vain worried, we showed the president the plant, fed the fish, caviar, crab," says Anatoly Filippov. "We spoke frankly, he liked everything." The Tunaichi workshops, equipped with American and German equipment, stand directly on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, the red fish is recycled almost immediately after the catch, so the quality of the company's products - frozen fish, fillets, canned fish and red caviar - was considered one of the best at Market.

"It was a luxurious enterprise, very modern," the head of the Fisheries Information Agency Alexander Saveliev, who visited the Tunaich in the mid 2000s, spared no epithets. - Fish immediately from the sea, which is extremely important for quality, was conveyed by a conveyor to the cutting shop with imported equipment. Red caviar was on the best possible and immediately processed and packed in banks that were in the market crazy demand. " Official delegations often came to the "Tunaich". The enterprise was shown to governors, ministers, in 2006 the first vice-premier Dmitry Medvedev got acquainted with production. Sakhalin has been considered an invincible poaching freeman since the early 1990s - local fishermen preferred to sell their catch to Japan, bypassing taxes, duties and quotas. "Tunaicha" against this background was an example of patriotic and responsible business.

Scientific approach

Anatoly Filippov first came out in 1974, having decided to work on a vacation, he then taught sopromat in the Sakhalin branch of the Khabarovsk Institute of Railway Transport. And he returned home without a penny. His "shabashka," as he says, "fishkolkhoz put him in a bad place, with disgusting seines and drunk instructors." "I began to study all the processes that affect catch, in what year the fish comes, in which - no, as the wind affects, the weather, invented its own seine, like the Japanese," Filippov said. Ten years later he collected his brigade and earned several thousand rubles for the season, his personal record of Soviet time - 9000 rubles per season in 1987 and a premium in the form of the right to purchase a car "Volga" without waiting.

In 1990, he created the company "Tunaicha". By way of 1991, the beginning entrepreneur agreed with the management of Sakhalinrybprom on processing and sharing the future catch in one of the mother ships. "Instead of running around the sea for fish and burning fuel, he stood next to us and processed our fish and caviar, for which he received half the catch," says Anatoly Filippov. For two months, 40 fishermen of the "Tunaichi" caught 8,500 tons of fish, for processing such a huge even by the standards of the Soviet fisheries farms in the catch area, seven shipbuildings contracted. After the division of production and its sale, Filippov and his partners earned about $ 5 million.

In 1993, he decided to break off the partnership with the shipping companies and build his own production. In 1995, he found partners in the US, they agreed to supply some of the future income and set up equipment. "Their technology struck me already that canned goods made in American shops could be stored without preservatives for eight years, four times longer than ours," admits Anatoly Filippov. A factory 70 meters from the sea was opened on July 30, 1996. The conveyor worked with incredible speed - 200 cans per minute, per day the plant processed about 500 tons of fish and 20 tons of red caviar. Growing incomes allowed to expand business, increase fleet for coastal catch.

According to the son of Anatoly Filippov Sergey, who was responsible for the finance in the company, the annual revenue of the whole group, which included companies for catching crab, fish, processing plant and a trading house, reached $ 200 million at the peak. In the mid 2000s, in "Tunaich" Thought about the IPO.

In claws

The company drove into an impasse the ambitious plan of Filippov the elder - the founding father decided to seize 40% of the market of the king crab. In 2004, Russia opened a new area for the Kamchatka crab fishery - in the Barents Sea. To the north the crab was brought from the Far East by special letter trains in the early 1960s. By the early 2000's, its reserves reached the fishing level. Filippov has long been eyeing the northern seas and in 2005 began to act decisively. For $ 50 million, he bought a five-year quota of 60% of the total volume allowed for fishing in the Barents Sea and bought four ice-class ships of American construction, which were due in the first season (for the crab in the northern seas this October-December) to earn $ 35 -40 million.

"In November 2006, I was at the talks on the division of quotas for the crab in the Barents Sea between Russia and Norway," Filippov said. - His wife called: on the "Tunaich" a "mask show." In the Sakhalin office and at the company's factory, MVD officers conducted searches, sealed the warehouse where the products "known to have been illegally extracted" were found. The management of the company started a criminal case, environmental damage was estimated at 900 million rubles. The case was dismissed in August 2007, then again resumed and finally closed only in October 2007 "for the absence of an offense". Filippov is confident that criminal cases were the result of competition for the crab in the Barents Sea.

He fought for the company for three years, almost completely paid off his creditors, for this he had to part with the crab business in the Barents Sea, which eventually got his competitors. At the meeting with Kireyev, Filippov's father and son represented "Tunaich" as the best and leading company in the fishing industry with brilliant prospects. In fact, everything was different. According to the former banker, it was later found out that the debts of the "Tunaichi" exceeded $ 30 million, the property was hunted by creditors, there was a wage arrears for 2009. Filippov assures that the debt was only $ 6 million, which he honestly told future partners. According to his version, with the sale of 50% of Tunaichi, it was agreed that the Filippov family would receive $ 5 million to pay off debts, and $ 30 million would go to create a future holding company and buy up companies with fishing sites on Sakhalin. Six bought companies registered with Moscow partners Kireeva, later these enterprises were to enter the newly created holding, but, according to Filippov, they became part of the "Tunaichi", due to which its share fell to 25%. "Then they removed me from the post of general director, and then they were fired for alleged absenteeism," Filippov said. According to Kireyev, Filippov did not want to give to the new holding "Tunaichu" and demanded from the new partners to buy out the share of his family. "What we did for 382 million rubles," - says Kireev.

In April 2011, Kireev first came to the "Tunaich". The sight of him was not very encouraging: rusty piers, 70 pieces of collapsing equipment, a factory with imported, but obsolete equipment, which required repair. With a processing capacity of 400 tons per day, due to frequent breakdowns in the way of 2011, the daily processing did not exceed 200 tons. Kireev enthusiastically took up the job: upgrading the shops and repairing the machinery, putting things in order in the bookkeeping department. "We wanted to make a large holding company with transparent reporting to sell it to some Moscow or local investor," Kireev said. But after Anatoly Filippov began to sue with the new owners and accuse them of raiding the "Tunaichi", the project in 2012 decided to get partners from Kireev and demanded to return the invested money with a yield of 30% per annum. "Formally, I did not own anything. To finally arrange everything, I was forced to agree to their terms, "he growls. According to Kireev, divorce with partners cost him more than $ 37 million.

Kireyev's own funds were not enough to buy back shares, bank loans and a new acquaintance - first vice-president of Gazprombank Andrey Zokin - helped out. For 10% of "Tunaichi" he was ready to pay $ 6.5 million and promised to help in obtaining a loan from Gazprombank. Kireev happily agreed. In 2012, he paid off and finally parted with former partners, in March 2013 the company, under the personal guarantee of Sergei and Larisa Kireev, received a loan from Gazprombank for 850 million rubles at 13% per annum, most of the money went to pay off debts accumulated under Anatoli Filippov . The new owner of "Tunaichi" planned to give money to Zokin in a year and get back 10%, but, as they say on Sakhalin, "the fish did not come," and it was not possible to pay off completely. The debt conversion increased Zokin's share in the "Tunaich" to 25%, now he was already a full-fledged partner. In 2014, Kireev and Zokin together invested in the acquisition of new sites, which increased the share of Gazprombank's top manager to 35%. "And then the irreparable happened," confesses Sergei Kireev. "My mother died." And I drank it. "

Fishy taste

Sergei Kireev and Andrei Zokin quickly became friends - they hunted together, went fishing. Realizing that in a state of drinking-bout he is more likely to harm the company, Kireyev quietly agreed to Zokin's offer to leave the post of general director of the "Tunaichi". "It looked like the help of a friend who says: it's hard for you now, I'll take control over myself, and then we'll be reinstated in the post," Kireev says. "But all ended with the fact that he did not return the post to me. And in 2015, as an individual, I purchased the rights of demand for a loan from Gazprombank with a pledge of my share and became, in fact, the owner of the whole company. " Now, according to the data of the "Contour.Focus" database, Andrei Zokin directly owns 35% of the company "Tunaicha", 65% is in his pledge. Total investment Kireeva in "Tunaichu", according to his calculations, amounted to $ 57 million, and Zokin spent $ 22 million. What will the new owner of "Tunaichi" do with the fishing company?

Catching of red fish on Sakhalin begins in August and ends on November 1, but by the beginning of the season they are preparing for the spring - they make repairs, build supplies, put out protection, recruit seasonal workers. "Tunaiche" needs at least 200 million rubles in order to approach the wayout fully armed. In 2014, the company's revenue, according to Kireev, amounted to 1.3 billion rubles, in 2015 - 500 million rubles (data for 2016 there).

On April 6, Andrei Zokin met with a correspondent of Forbes in the lobby of the Moscow hotel "Ararat Park Hyatt". I listened carefully to the questions, but refused to answer them. Later in the correspondence on WhatsApp Zokin claimed that Kireev's words that he had taken Tunaich from him did not correspond to reality.

In early April 2017 on the Gazprombank website Andrei Zokin was introduced as the first vice-president, at the end of that month he was no longer on the list of top managers. Forbes's request to the bank about the reason for the dismissal of Zokin remained unanswered.

Sergei Kireev hopes to regain the "Tunaich" through the court and prepares a suit. Anatoly Filippov also intends to prove in court that Kireev illegally took his company from him.

At the same time Filippov already met with Andrei Zokin and suggested that he restore the company's work. "He will still be deceived, everyone steals in black," the founder of the Tunaichi believes. "Now Tunaicha is worth no more than $ 30-40 million, only my return will increase its value by $ 10 million at once."

According to Alexander Savelyev of the Fisheries Information Agency, fishing and processing are "fantastic in terms of profitability business," but it depends entirely on the human factor, experience and motivation of the manager. "Filippov has a flair for fish, he makes accurate forecasts based on some people's signs, wind, currents, temperatures, he consulted all Sakhalin. Investors from Moscow could not find a common language with him, it killed them, "Savelyev is sure.

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