Sources from the entourage of Mikhail Prokhorov said "Medusa", the Russian authorities have a lot of pressure on him: businessman forced to sell his holding RBC or change its direction. According to them, the greater the pressure, the more indifferent Prokhorov refers to the holding company, which has become a recognized leader in the media market in Russia. The businessman once said that every eight years, he completely changes the scope of activities. Exactly eight years ago, his life took a big change: dividing the assets of his former business partner Vladimir Potanin, Prokhorov became interested in politics and media. By 2016 th all political projects Prokhorov came to an end; but what will happen to the media owned by him, is still unknown. Special correspondent "Medusa" Ilya Žegulja tells how businessman Mikhail Prokhorov tried to become a public politician and owner of the influential publications.
In December 2015, journalist Anton Krasovsky came home to Mikhail Prokhorov in Skolkovo for breakfast - treated cheesecakes and sausage. It was their first big meetingsince the days of the presidential campaign of 2012 - then Krasovsky and Prokhorov held alongside two months: a businessman involved in the race, and the journalist directed his staff. At this time the businessman invited Krasowski just eat and talk. However, conversation, recalls Krasovsky, did not go well. Prokhorov enthusiastically talked about his American club basketball Brooklyn Nets, and then showed the journalist a gym. Krasovsky also interested in the fate of Prokhorov, Russia's largest independent media holding RBC. But the businessman to questions about a possible sale of the company was evasive; He looked like a man who does not really care about this issue.
By the time the market is already there have been rumors that Prokhorov sells its media assets. However, it began to publicly discuss only a few months later - 14 April 2016, when the headquarters belonging to the businessman ONEXIM Group were searched (the investigators also appeared at the offices of his "Quadra" companies, "Renaissance Capital", "Renaissance Credit" and "Consent "). The FSB explained what is happening investigative actions etc.a criminal case, "Tauride" of the bank, which in February 2015, took over the reorganization of ONEXIM Group. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the security forces action in no way connected with the pressure on RBC; but this statement is only spurred rumors about the sale of the holding.
Sources surrounded by Mikhail Prokhorov told "Medusa", that talks about the sale of RBC businessman is already more than a year. First Prokhorov allegedly talked about it with the owner of the "Komsomolskaya Pravda" Gregory Berezkin. After Berezkin could not buy a Russian version of Forbes, he is, according to some reports, RBC became interested and asked to Prokhorov. This Berezkin Prokhorov insisted on repaying the debt, which he took on when buying a holding seven years ago; this Prokhorov did not agree.
Another source of "Medusa" of Prokhorov's entourage said that the potential buyer was co-owner of RBC timber Group "Ilim" Zahar Smushkin. According to the source, the managers Smushkin in February 2016 already discussed the possible appointment in the holding after the change of ownership.
In an interview with "Medusa" one of the most influential Russian media top managers said that Smushkin and Prokhorov were unable to agree on a price. Prokhorov invested in RBC about 80 million dollars, and took the $ 220 million debt left over from the previous owners. In addition, according to the people from the surrounding Prokhorov, RBC Holding in 2016, "has increased its political weight", which should also be taken into account in the price of the asset. At the same time, according to the interlocutor, "Medusa" in the media industry, the market value of RBC is now no more than $ 60 million, and Smushkin was hardly ready to offer significantly more than this amount (at what price he insisted, is not known). Be that as it may, the negotiations,According to the "Medusa", stopped after the appearance of the investigators in the companies owned by Mikhail Prokhorov.
According to sources, "Medusa" in the ONEXIM Group, the FSB and the surrounding Prokhorov, businessman searches in the companies authorized personally by the president of Russia. Vladimir Putin was outraged publications devoted to his family. A source at Onexim manual notes that the Kremlin's claim to RBC "grew like a snowball," especially in recent months. Even in 2015, the country's leadership did not like some of the publications RBC - in particular, the investigation of the alleged daughter of Putin Katerina Tikhonova, as well as the text of the proposed business in-law Cyril Putin Shamalova. And especially in the Kremlin were annoyed by how actively RBC in 2016 covered the publication of the "Panamanian archives."
In the spring of 2016, on news about the searches in the group ONEXIM, it was announced another important event relating to RBC. Chief editor of RBC Elizabeth Ossetia announced that in September will take an academic leave in connection with studies at Stanford University. However, according to PFitsialnomu statement RBC sabbatical editorial manager will begin after the May holidays. Source Reuters, close to RBC management, explained that the decision on the early retirement Ossetia may be due to pressure from the Kremlin.
"It was an offer Onexim, I agreed with him and [former chairman of RBC's Board of Directors, Vice-president of Onexim] Derk Sauer", - told the "Medusa" a source close to the leadership of RBC. "Lisa [Ossetian] on leave until the end of the internship, - said the" Medusa "chief editor of RBC agency Roman Badanin. - And what will happen in a year, time will tell. "
Thus, during the September elections to the State Duma, which will be a busy time for the Russian authorities, as amended by Elizabeth Ossetian RBC will not.
According to two sources close to the leadership of the holding, release Ossetian probably this story is not over. According to them, in the Kremlin, Mikhail Prokhorov made it clear that the businessman to leave the structure must also Roman Badanin and Derk Sauer. The "business RBC", according to their information, the head oversees weekavno created Rosgvardii Viktor Zolotov, who is considered a close ally of Vladimir Putin.
Ossetia in response to a request by "Medusa" an interview said: "Maybe then someday, but for now I will not say anything." Regarding a possible meeting "Medusa" Mikhail Prokhorov said members of his reception:. "It's impossible"
Late in the evening January 12, 2007 a plane carrying the businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, landed at Vnukovo-3. For the first time Prokhorov met such a crowd of journalists. Communicate with them co-owner of "Norilsk nickel", the world's largest producer of non-ferrous metals, did not. Together with his companions he walked quickly through the VIP-hall; and those who waited for a few hours a businessman at the airport, could only see people leaving limousines.
Speaking to reporters businessman was not going for good reason. He just got out of the detention center in France, where he was detained on charges of pimping. As a result of the sudden police raid against prostitution in the ski resort of Courchevel Prokhs was detained for three days. In Russia, the news of the incident caused a huge scandal: the detention of the largest demonstration entrepreneur in the company specially imported from Russian girls looked defiant.
Longtime partner Prokhorov - co-owner of "Norilsk Nickel" Vladimir Potanin refused to defend him in the press and to the staff. Moreover, he decided it was time for a "divorce". Shortly thereafter, Prokhorov, Potanin has invited to her and said he would buy his stake in "Norilsk Nickel". According to a source familiar with the details of the transaction for the sale of the company, the amount of which at the time offered Potanin to Prokhorov for a stake in "Norilsk Nickel", it was significantly lower than the market - less than one billion dollars.
Two weeks later, Prokhorov and Potanin have collected briefing to announce the separation of assets. Prokhorov mostly silent, and Potanin said that their main common asset - "Norilsk Nickel" - almost entirely get it. Many believed that it is logical: former First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia (1996-1997), Vladimir Potanin, has always seemed olderm partner, despite the fact that they share are equal; Prokhorov and "make a slip" - a story in Courchevel caused him and the company's reputational damage.
During the briefing, the financial details of the divorce Prokhorov were not disclosed. But the conditions that offered Potanin, Prokhorov was, to put it mildly, unhappy - he was furious.
Complain about unfair, in his opinion, the section of assets Mikhail Prokhorov decided his friend Valentin Yumashev, the head of the presidential administration in the days of Boris Yeltsin (and the husband of his daughter Tatyana Dyachenko). Yumashev, in turn, told about what happened to Putin. By Yumashev president listened, in part because he was among those who advised Yeltsin selected Putin's successor in 1999.
"Medusa" A source in the ONEXIM says that soon Prokhorov got an appointment with Vladimir Putin: Just when it allegedly telephoned Russian President Vladimir Potanin and said that "cheating partners ugly."
In the transaction, a third party: Prokhorov sold his stake in "Norilsk Nickel" is not Potanin, a businessman Oleg Deripaska, has longMu family friend Yumashev. As a result, due to the division of property and sale of shares Potanin Deripaska, Prokhorov received a total of $ 9.5 billion; this happened on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis. Prokhorov concentrated on which he founded in 2007, the Onexim investment fund and use it to consolidate all that is left of the "divorce" with Potanin. At the end of 2008, Prokhorov turned out to be the richest man in Russia, according to Forbes magazine.
In 2008, Prokhorov met with the legend of Russian journalism, the founder of the publishing house "Kommersant" Vladimir Yakovlev. He urged entrepreneurs to establish a new media holding, which was life-affirming title, "Live!" ( "ZHV!"). The main idea was that Yakovlev to open the publication, addressed to a large Russian diaspora around the world. In October 2008, the first issue of "Snob" - a glossy magazine, intended for «Global Russians»; and in May 2009 there was a site Snob.ru. In addition to the "Snob" in the media group Mikhail Prokhorov entered the youth edition of F5 (formerly it was headeds the owner of the magazine "Trade secret" Yuri Katzman), TV channel "Live" and the creative agency of the same name.
In a truly confusing structure of the media holding Yakovlev himself he combined the post of chief editor of "project", "Snob" and president of the group, "Live!". The journalist Masha Gessen, headed the website and the magazine "Snob", says that the first time she knew exactly how to work the holding, "on the level of feelings." "When we arrived [in the office] at the factory," Armagh ", the building was completely renovated, with it residential apartment was built separately", - says Hesse. According to her, the head of housing used F5 Yuri Katzman. Soon Yakovlev decided to move the holding employees at "Red October" and started again costly repairs. According to Hesse, Yakovlev constantly flew to Ibiza, where he has a house, a private jet - Hesse suggests that this happened in the money group "Live!".
The initial budget is only one project "snob" was almost six million a year. The staffing of 127 persons were registered;Hesse says he does not even suggest what did you do a lot of them. For example, it states that in the state of "Snob" was a personal masseur Yakovlev.
How to tell the sources of ONEXIM Group, on the launch of the "Live!" Prokhorov has spent a total of more than $ 80 million, but the project is not only paid off, but continued to require a few tens of millions of dollars annually.
In 2010, the group employed invited Sergei Lavrukhina Onexim, the financier of the media holding "Prof-Media" (TV channel "2 × 2" and MTV Russia, the site Rambler, ID "Bill" and other assets) belonging to former partner Prokhorov, Vladimir Potanin. Lavrukhin instructed to clean up the media company Prokhorov, since it was obvious that the situation in them is not easy. The financial position of the group, "Live!" Shocked invited top manager. "It took me four months to reach Prokhorov and say that this orgy" - says the "Medusa" Lavrukhin.
According Lavrukhin, an internal investigation revealed that Yakovlevin not only wasteful spending, but also directly "led off the money from the company." "Prokhorov, to investigate this story, decided not to pursue criminal Yakovleva and not to publicize the incident", - confirms Hesse.
"I think that it was a beautiful" divorce ", - says the" Medusa "Lavrukhin. - It turns out, Yakovlev asked Prokhorov just abyss of money, he created a kind of media holding. He was five years old and unprofitable never brought operating profit. It was just a feast during the plague. "
It tells the source close to Prokhorov, businessman decided to talk to the media manager on the phone - Yakovlev at that time was in Ibiza. "In the old days you would have been killed - quoted Prokhorov source" Medusa ". - I can do so that you will have a criminal case and you will look for around the world. But I will not do it. Why? Simply because you're m **** ".
Vladimir Yakovlev resigned from the "Live!" In autumn 2011, officially - by mutual agreement. He was also asked to return part of the investments made into the project. Pthe insistence of the General Director Dmitry Razumov, Onexim Group, Yakovlev signed an undertaking to return more than a million dollars structures Prokhorov; similar paper signed and editor F5 Yuri Katzman.
Returned if the money Prokhorov, Lavrukhin unknown. In response to the "Medusa" to talk about the history of the "Live!" The former ideologist "Snob" Vladimir Yakovlev said: "Thank you, no, not interested."
In the same 2011, Lavrukhin instead Yakovlev led a group of "Live!" And engaged in cost reduction. Issue the F5, on paper talks about the Internet phenomena, in 2012 we sold Yuri Katsman (finally closed in 2015); channel "Live!" bought its managers Milan Minaeva and Ilona Danilova.
Of all the "empire", "Live!" Prokhorov was only magazine "Snob" (and its website) who have decided to turn to the almanac and release every two months.
Financial news agency "RosBusinessConsulting" (later known as the RBC media holding), founded in 1993 by Hermann KaLung and Alexander Morgulchik with the participation of employees of the Central Bank, to the mid-2000s, has grown into a successful Russian Internet project.
In 2002, RBC was the first among media holdings placed its shares on the Russian stock exchanges - the trading volume of its securities even compete with "Norilsk Nickel". For six years after the company's shares rose more than tenfold. At its peak, before the crisis of 2008, the company - the memories of its top managers - worth half a billion dollars.
To increase the capitalization of the company owners founded in 2003, the first business channel RBC TV, and began to publish since 2006 a monthly magazine and daily newspaper. In addition, within the holding were Publishing house "Salon Press" with a ruler and gloss unit "Mediamir", which includes instant messenger Qip, entertainment sites and even dating LovePlanet.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the site of RBC was one of the most popular information resources in Russian Internet (and in the opinion of many competitors, and even one of the "purchased traffic 'leaders). Several years underpoison stated by selling Internet advertising at times exceeded the sales of other major advertising platforms, including Internet giants such as "Yandex», Mail.ru, Rambler and others mentioned in the investigation of SmartMoney magazine, published in 2006.
RBC's earnings were not always directly linked to the legal advertising. In the same publication SmartMoney spoke of "enormous amount" of commercial materials RBC published without tagging "for publicity", as well as partnership agreements with advertisers, that is, "editorials" contain direct advertising.
"If at first these were isolated cases, that then such production came on stream. On the market there was a strong reputation: RBC - is "McDonald's" Free Cash - says "Medusa" one of the former editors of key RBC. - For example, the RBC channel just banished the company price lists for inviting guests to the program. And it was official. "
Another media manager who is familiar with the founders of RBC, told the "Medusa", that the holding in the zero existed"I shit on the block": for a certain amount of the company bought a "ticket" that blocks the negative publications about it. Other entrepreneurs appealed after a series of negative publicity and offered them to stop for the money, said the manager.
After the 2008 crisis, a successful - on the audience and financial indicators - media holding was suddenly in deep debt hole. One of the founders and chairman of RBC German Kaplun, the Board of Directors in January 2009, warned creditors that in February, RBC may become bankrupt. Dolgov, the company had more than 200 million dollars, and available funds - about 11 million.
RBC lenders nervous. The former head of sales and services in the securities markets Raiffeisenbank Natalia Peksheva responsible for the negotiations to restructure the debt, RBC says that throughout her career are her clients never come across before - and she hopes that the future will not fall. According to her, the RBC financial problems were largely "man-made", that is not associated only with the fall of the advertising marketin 2008. So, on the eve of the crisis the company held an additional issue of the imaginary, actually buying the shares at the same - on the money borrowed in the bank bail of the same shares. Money invested in a variety of non-core assets: cars, apartments and shares of other companies in a falling market. "If you bought a television tower or porn site, I would have understood it, - said Peksheva Kaplun. - But why do you think you are professional traders themselves, versed in the intricacies of the financial market "?
"Hera [Capon] confused pockets - explains the" Medusa "one of his friends, a former top manager of RBC. - Considering that the shares of RBC - good collateral, he took them for money, which started playing at the stock exchange. "
Daily Peksheva raised to work in an office in the elevator, which showed RBC TV. In spring 2008, journalists of RBC TV viewers strongly recommend to buy Russian shares, explaining that every day they are becoming more attractive. "That's how they talked in their programs, as well as in life there were" - angry Peksheva.
According to her, there is no "constructiveand "owners of RBC creditors have not waited. "RBC wanted to achieve for themselves a comfortable respite. Discuss any variations and additional guarantees refused. The leitmotif of their position was: we can not pay - and all. When we can, and then pay "- says Peksheva.
Rate RBC size of assets was also difficult. The holding was an opaque, convoluted structure: a large number of companies, both Russian and offshore, with cross-ownership. At the same time, RBC rented office; Only computers, television studio, tables and chairs were owned by the holding.
Lenders began to look for buyers; the same and do the owners. In this capacity, we discussed the head of "Alfa-Group" Mikhail Fridman, owner of the publishing house "Kommersant" Alisher Usmanov, and even the head of "Russian Technologies" Sergey Chemezov, who allegedly met with Kaplun.
The real buyer was Mikhail Prokhorov. According to one version, he persuaded the then-CEO of RBC Yuri Rivne; on the other hand, Prokhorov is strongly recommended to purchase the asset his longtime friend Chemezov.
Whatever it was, the emergence Prokhorov was a real salvation for RBC. Prokhorov gave the founders of the media holding $ 80 million for 51% of RBC; He not only took on the assumption of debt, but offered creditors the restructuring scheme, which in the end all satisfied. Entrepreneur has increased the amount of debt, and the debt - deferred. The founders of RBC were minority shareholders and top managers of the project. Despite the problems with creditors and dangerous games with shares Kaplun, RBC became CEO. Head of "Live!" Sergei Lavrukhin headed the board of directors of the new media holding company Mikhail Prokhorov.
Acquiring is not the hassle-free asset, Prokhorov was thinking as his basis to build a truly serious media business. At first, he planned to combine holding with "snob" and a group of "Live!", But, according to the "Medusa", dissuaded him from this, the representatives of both sides - and Lavrukhin and Kaplun. They barely stopped Prokhorov as if entered into the taste, of the negotiations on other purchases in the media market. "We would like from this otnekivalis - says a source close to the then leadership of RBC. - Prokhorov regularly called Kaplun, and it looks the part even funny: yes, Mikhail, thank you, no, not "Russian Newsweek" ».
Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of RBC Lavrukhin confirms that negotiations with the owners of "Russian Newsweek», the German holding company AxelSpringer, really were: "The transaction could take place. But we looked at the magazine's financial condition and have not found meaning. Weekly press die, in principle, and Newsweek was no exception. "
According to him, Prokhorov in the period 2010-2012 was also considering the possibility of merging their publications with media assets businessman Alexander Mamut and his team SUP Media (among the assets at the time - Livejournal and "Gazeta.ru,"). Lavrukhin from Prokhorov's face and held talks with the founders of the private TV channel "Rain" (started broadcasting in 2010) Natalia Sindeeva and Alexander Vinokurov about a possible merger with RBC, but the parties have not agreed. Finally, Prokhorov watched and the largest private Russian news "Interfax ": on his behalf in ONEXIM investigated the opportunities and risks of this transaction. However, co-owner and CEO of "Interfax" Commissioner Michael was not interested in this proposal, says Lavrukhin.
German Kaplun did not comment on the history of relations with Mikhail Prokhorov and refused to meet with the correspondent of "Medusa". Get prompt comment Natalia Sindeeva "Medusa" failed.
The largest and most successful deal RBC carried out in 2011 by buying a hosting company Ru-Center, which registers domain names in RuNet. Since 2014 the holding company brings a third of its revenue.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Prokhorov himself has switched to a new field of activity: he was interested in a career of public policy.
In autumn 2010, in the Kremlin surrounded discussed, who will represent the Liberals in the parliamentary elections of 2011, and then Valentin Yumashev, the head of the presidential administration under Boris Yeltsin, remembered his friend Mikhail Prokhorov.
For a couple of years before many participants decomposes"Union of Right Forces" shegosya in 2008, accepted the proposal of the Kremlin to the Party "just cause". As the "Medusa" and told the former. about. Chairman of the Political Council of the "Union of Right Forces" Leonid Gozman, it was assumed that the "just cause" will become "liberal political force of the country's leadership," and it can lead one of the first persons.
By 2011, the party was actively interested in Dmitry Medvedev at the time served as president of Russia. How to tell the source of his administration, Medvedev at the time had a good relationship with Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin - it is the president he proposed to lead the project. Kudrin nevertheless refused by political career and Medvedev put on the table a new draft of the "leading troika" right parties: the owner of the shops "Republic" Vadim Dimov, actress Chulpan Khamatova and Andrei Sharonov, who was then the vice-mayor of Moscow. But this list Medvedev did not like. "In a country crisis. I need someone who will pay for all ", - quotes the source of the" Medusa "of the former president, imevshegOh, apparently in mind that investing in a new project and its spin due to its resources the Kremlin is not ready.
As Prokhorov told in private conversations, lead the "just cause" he was asked, Valentin Yumashev and Tatyana. Prokhorov took this idea as "another overarching objective." "He came on as a sparkler" - says the "Medusa" closest ally of the entrepreneur.
At the party congress, held on June 25, 2011, Prokhorov created a furore. The businessman said that it will invest in the project $ 100 million, even 100 million on the development of the party, he promised to take from entrepreneurs colleagues Alexander Mamut (SUP Media owner) and Suleiman Kerimov ( "Uralkali" owner), which, as Prokhorov expected, will also be included in the party.
Kerimov Mamut and the party did not come, but in the political project Prokhorov agreed to participate, many media persons, including Alla Pugacheva, Andrei Makarevich and Yevgeny Mironov. Simultaneously, the Kremlin began almost immediately advise Prokhorov included in the election list of outsiders and not nearcal entrepreneur people. "I propose [TV presenter] Julia Bordovskikh turn and almost [singer and actress] Jeanne Friske," - says source close to Prokhorov, who worked in the "right case". Entrepreneur is posted on a hard failure.
Political image Prokhorov engaged technologists Iskander Valitov, Dmitry Kulikov and Timothy Serhejts. Prior to that, they have promoted the presidential election Ukrainian politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk: Ukraine placed across billboards, on which an intelligent and slender Yatsenyuk posing in camouflage (Yatsenyuk scored about 7%, ranked fourth in 2010).
Prokhorov political strategists have decided to also add masculinity - make it sharp, independent politician, who can do without the advice from the Kremlin. Many of their decisions, however, were wrong.
First, the party rebranded, its symbolism has become similar to that used by nationalists imperial flag; appeared and the slogan "Our cause is just." "And on the [ultra-patriotic] field already worked other people, and the administration was not necessary. Total etogabout Prokhorov did not feel, "- said members of his entourage.
Secondly, Prokhorov has provoked a strong party conflict, hiring a campaign manager State Duma deputy from the LDPR Rifat Shaikhutdinova. He began to quickly get rid of the Liberals and give a place in the list of people far from the party ideology.
Third, political scientists Prokhorov set up against the chief at that time player in Russia's domestic policy - the first deputy head of presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov. To demonstrate its independence, Prokhorov had first of all to get rid of the image of "the Kremlin appointee," but he did it clumsily. "They [the spin doctors] played in sculpting politician and ran into conflict with Surkov," - says source close to Prokhorov. He argues that the advisers are constantly talking businessman, "Vladislav Surkov - the enemy, we are not on the road with him." They insisted that Prokhorov - an independent politician who did not have anyone to navigate.
Finally, in the fourthMikhail Prokhorov, quarreled with President Dmitry Medvedev. Shortly before the start of the 2011 campaign, the head of the country assembled party leaders and delivered a speech that the party lists in any case should not be people with a criminal record. Medvedev threatened to Zhirinovsky, saying that it concerns him personally, and not even looked at Prokhorov, since it was sure. In the federal list of the "right things" entrepreneur planned to include Yekaterinburg politician Yevgeny Roizman, who in his youth had served for theft.
"What in this situation can do a politician? You can start a meaningful debate, said that no such disqualification, - says in an interview with "Medusa" Prokhorov's former colleague on "right cause". - You can wait until the end of the meeting, and fall at his feet, say - a conviction was 20 years ago, sir, have mercy. Prokhorov just missed a deaf ear to the words of Medvedev and almost the next day announced that it is Roizman. "
According to witnesses, Medvedev was just furious. According to a source familiar with the rukovodsTwomey presidential administration, Medvedev and Surkov is still "batters" the mere mention of Prokhorov. "When Surkov demanded urgently removed from the list of Roizman, a businessman threw up his hands:" Look, I'm a public politician, what Roizman in lists already known to all, as I will explain their constituents? ' "- He says.
As a result of Prokhorov left without a party: it had technically taken away in September 2011. The Congress Party opponents Prokhorov won the majority in the credentials committee and then voted for the removal of Prokhorov as party leader, which became instead the head of the executive committee Andrei Dunayev. "Back to our status quo came painfully - he says Dunayev. - Everyone knew that the party does not pick up a passing interest without Prokhorov in the Duma. " Why delegates committed political suicide, the Danube can not explain. But Prokhorov announced that personal responsibility for the incident bears Surkov, which entrepreneur-politician called "the puppeteer."
The factory director
From September to the beginning of winter 2011ode Prokhorov did not appear in public, and on December 12 in a few days after the parliamentary elections that ended mass protests in Moscow, a businessman suddenly announced that he would run for president.
A source from the presidential administration said, "Medusa", that the offer to participate in the elections this time the businessman received from Vladimir Putin. He walked for a third term, and he needed a decent, but not a dangerous rival. Putin, says the source, met with Prokhorov and even identified the regions in which it will be possible to "work quietly" - megacities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.
In Prokhorov, Putin could be sure. The businessman was obliged to him personally for help in solving the "divorce" of the problem with Potanin. And to deny the leader Prokhorov could not country. In addition, according to the "Medusa", the businessman hinted that after the elections, and depending on the results of the campaign he has the chance to 'fit into the system ", taking the post of the mayor of Moscow or getting a portfolio in the Cabinet.
While these negotiations were going, share pricesand "For Fair Elections" in Moscow gained strength. December 24, 2011 Prokhorov towered above the crowd on Academician Sakharov Prospect - it was the mass rally in the history of belolentochnogo movement.
- You stay another Putin or not? - Prokhorov said the pensioner. Businessman hesitated.
- The people must decide who is good and who is bad, - he began to answer with a shrug. - I've seen people who genuinely support Putin. But I do not support it. What he is doing, I think it is wrong.
Prokhorov to participate in a public event, it turned out the test, which had to cope with: entrepreneur parried thrusts, trying to ignore the snowballs thrown by the communists in it. Close to Prokhorov in the crowd were his companions on the "right cause" - Ural politician Yevgeny Roizman and actor Leonid Yarmolnik. Just behind was a leading NTV Anton Krasovsky.
Krasovsky on Sakharov Avenue called longtime partner Prokhorov Juliana Slaschova. Her company "Mikhailov and Partners" was engaged in PR-support for manythe most important business and government officials, and Prokhorov was one of the largest and most reliable clients (he still works with "Mikhailov", although she is now Slaschova CTC CEO). Right on the day of the rally on Sakharov Avenue Krasovsky Prokhorov offered to lead his campaign headquarters.
At this time, the entrepreneur decided not to move away from their "natural way." "Realizing that he was not a politician, we have decided that we will make a bet on his ability to talk to the audience as a businessman - said" Medusa "one of the managers of his presidential staff. - It worked for Moscow, and in regions Prokhorov made image "plant director", which is close to the people. Above this I had to work. He learned 30 pages of fine hand - how much are the foods in different regions. He knew how much a carton of milk in Krasnoyarsk and how much is the same milk in Novosibirsk. "
According Krasowski, rich Prokhorov always tried to breed for money - and it turned out well: "Even the producers of commercials, which did not hesitate to put scheie a million dollars for a couple of dozen short clips. " TV programs took money from him for appearing on the air, said a source in the headquarters; He notes that no one program (except for free ether Vladimir Solovyov) Prokhorov is not paid less than 100 thousand dollars. Businessman did not bargain.
In the elections in March 2012, Prokhorov came in third after Vladimir Putin and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, with nearly 8% of the vote. The best result among liberal politicians to Prokhorov showed only Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential elections of 2000 - also in third place, but only 5.8% of the vote.
The result gave Prokhorov. Soon he began to prepare for the next race, less ambitious, but more real, - the early elections of the mayor of Moscow, scheduled for September 2013. However, sources tell the entrepreneur environment, the head of Sergei Sobyanin in the Kremlin has made promises to prevent the elections such a strong opponent. Interlocutor "Medusa" from the presidential administration at the same time he denies involvement in this story Sobyanin. According to him, the Kremlin PHIPrimer bluff, giving hope Prokhorov: "Why the Kremlin needed the cockroach races Prokhorov Sobyanin? Why would they Prokhorov in Moscow with his billions? Why shake the design? "
Prokhorov promised to arrange the problem of the election, and he seems to understand that the fight is meaningless. But the Kremlin has allowed to take part in this race oppositionist Alexey Navalny - he took second place with 27.2% of the vote.
However, just before Prokhorov still allowed to register their own political project, the party "Civic Platform", which appeared in the summer of 2012. Now the entrepreneur did not have to deal with either Surkov or with Medvedev, and the project was regarded as "his own".
For three years the party has been able to become the first among the non-parliamentary forces on the number of won regional elections. However, inconsistencies in the management of the party reduced the credibility of the already small number of liberal voters. For example, when Prokhorov has refused to participate in the mayoral campaign, he promised to concentrate power in elections in MoCity Duma. However, he later refused to and from the race.
With the same suddenness Prokhorov disown and from the party itself. In March 2015 he was expelled from the party demanded of its leader Rifat Shaikhutdinova (businessman gave him a post in May 2014, two months after the annexation of Crimea to Russia) - because of the participation of "Civic Platform" in the ultra-patriotic "Antimaydane". And the next day, and all left the ranks of the party - and it seems that finally put an end to the policy.
Return to Media
While connected to the management of RBC strategist Sergei Prokhorov Lavrukhin, reputational issues holding have not gone away: the readers and colleagues are still raised questions and too trusting relationship with RBC advertisers, and the quality of media products.
At the end of 2012, Mikhail Prokhorov met with the Dutchman Derk Sauer, founder of the Independent Media Holding, the publisher of the newspaper "Vedomosti" (more on this publishing house and selling it to businessman Demyan Kudryavtsev read here). A source at Onexim Group said that Prokhorov offered Sauerlead RBC's Board of Directors - to bring the publication of the holding to a new level. Holding finally left the oldest top-manager Herman Kaplun; as CEO Sergei took Lavrukhin. Strategic issues were entrusted Derk Sauer, who had once been able to build in the Russian business publication with an impeccable reputation.
In 2013, before the advent of the law "on aliens in the media," Sauer in his new capacity went to Germany for a meeting with the owners of the publishing house AxelSpringer. He wanted to offer them a "stock exchange»: AxelSpringer would become a minority shareholder of RBC, and he, in turn, would absorb the Russian assets of the German ID - primarily the Russian version of Forbes magazine. Curiously, Prokhorov has already tried once to buy from AxelSpringer «Russian Newsweek»; In 2010 the magazine was closed due to financial problems. Of Forbes, in contrast to the "Russian Newsweek», it has been profitable asset, and AxelSpringer going to bargain for it. As evidenced by one of the negotiators, the Germans estimated the RBC holding $ 50 million, while Derk Sauer believed that he stands asinimum $ 120 million.
Anyway, the negotiations reached an impasse, and Derk Sauer decided to buy himself not of Forbes, and his team. In late 2013 he proposed to the chief editor of the magazine Elizabeth Ossetian head of RBC. Along with it went many key publications staff, including deputy chief Valery Igumenov editor (led by RBC magazine), Elena Tofanyuk editor, Irina Malkova browser and several correspondents.
Influence Sauer RBC became greater. As acknowledged by the general director Sergei Lavrukhina holding, Sauer from the beginning to interfere in the company's operations - to the extent that said, who should be fired, and whom to hire. Conflicts and Sauer Lavrukhina become commonplace; in the summer of 2013 (before the advent of RBC Elizabeth Ossetian) journalists Lavrukhin learned that he picked up a replacement: CEO of RBC was appointed Nikolai Molibog, head of the company "Afisha-Rambler" and who left her shortly after she moved to the businessman Management Alexander Mamut.
"We have relied on it to give a large audienceBC quality content, without losing the audience, and in some cases even improve its quality, - says "Medusa" Molibog. - And so it happened. Plus it was very "money" audience, and it is very interesting to advertisers. "
Elizabeth Ossetia, took over as chief editor of RBC, the union took the magazine editors, website, newspaper and television channel. Quality journalism RBC my eyes. "We have seriously changed the business model. If earlier there were selling the idea of "you pay us, and we have about you will not write bad", now sell the idea "we have all the high-quality and economically active audience", "- says Molibog.
Transformation RBC contributed to the aggressive policy of the new human resources management of the holding, which is gaining a team of the best journalists. In addition to Forbes employees in RBC crossed and some journalists of "Vedomosti", including policy editor at Maxim Glikin and deputy chief editor Maxim Solyus.
According Moliboga for improving the quality of even "had to overpay" in the process of luring MagazineComrade from other publications, however, have managed to reduce overall costs by reducing other costs. For example, the number of employees of the holding company managed to reduce almost by half - from 2,000 employees to 1100. In addition, RBC rid of all sorts of neprofilya: for example, the unit "Centre", published by glossy magazines, was profitable sold ID Burda (the Germans gave him about 20 million dollars, according to sources "Medusa" in the ONEXIM group).
Previously, the site of RBC considered the market leader in the number of publications borrowed, then in 2014 he became one of the leaders of the citation ( "Medialogia" according to) - and holds the position to this day. RBC newspaper that earlier and "Kommersant" and "Vedomosti" do not even consider a rival, has become an influential publication in September 2015 of RBC became the leader on the audience in the segment of daily business publications (according to "to TNS Russia", described in their own RBC report on the work in 2015). Finally, in the spring of 2016 the audience RBC, according to Liveinternet exceeded 20 million unique visitors per month; thus, RBC today - cerealsther independent publication in Russia.
Ascension RBC did not stop and a small reputation scandal that occurred in the spring of 2015, when in the sink hackers "Anonymous International" was discovered the alleged correspondence of officials of the presidential administration Timur Prokopenko (in the autumn of 2012 to the winter of 2014 was in charge of the Internet and later in charge of the federal election ) with RBC CEO Nicholas Moliboga. The last confirmed correspondence, noting that "the amount of change that has occurred with RBC in the past year and a half, it was impossible to carry out without explaining [the state] that we do."
By changing the quality of the site, newspaper and magazine, RBC nevertheless could dramatically improve the quality of its TV product. Channel RBC led (combining the post of the General Director and chief editor), a longtime friend and political ally Prokhorov - journalist Alexander Lyubimov. His ideas about what should be the channel is clearly at odds with Elizabeth Ossetian plans. "Do you want to invite Navalny? You are welcome. But then, that's how much support Navalny, the same, in the same proportion, call peopleminutes from the "United Russia", how many voters support the "United Russia", "- explains the" Medusa "its logic Lyubimov.
"We had [Ossetian] long and meaningful argued. And it does not end "- recognizes Lyubimov. Finally, in April 2014 he ended the contract, and he was not offered a new. A year later, in the summer of 2015, he resigned and his protege - Glavred RBC TV Andrey Reut.
After the departure of Reut, as they say sources "Medusa" in the RBC, the Kremlin insisted on the appointment of the head of its human channel; Ossetian resisted as best she could. Near the building there were picketers RBC (ultra-patriotic activists of the National Liberation Movement), calling for the resignation of "foreign agent" Derk Sauer. Trying to obviously reduce the degree of confrontation, Sauer retired from RBC - he became vice-president of Onexim. In November 2015, says the source, "Medusa" in the RBC, Sauer collected editions key top managers and told them that he can not defend them in front of the Kremlin and to the owner.
Despite pressure from Creuxblah, April 1, 2016 Ossetian appointed general producer of the TV channel of his colleague and former colleague at Forbes Elmar Murtazayeva (he became the Forbes editor after leaving him Ossetia, and he left the magazine in connection with the sale of his businessman Alexander Fedotov, distant, and to business, and from the social and political journalism).
Mikhail Prokhorov has never publicly commented on the editorial policy of the holding, and in recent years did not talk to the press. However, RBC employees believe that the change in the wording flattered Prokhorov. "I met with Prokhorov once or twice on the same events, so he say anything about his attitude towards our media can not, - said the chief editor of RBC agency Roman Badanin. - Heard from Elizabeth Ossetia that he was proud of us, our publications, and changes us. "
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After the failure of the "black" income, in 2014, RBC's revenue first holding has fallen below the market, although in 2015 it was possible to increase. "Perhaps we are the only media company, whose numbers in 2015 is better than 2014," - sayst is one of the top managers of ONEXIM Group. Similarly, comments audited financial report, which RBC has published last week, Molibog: "In 2015, we were able to show the result of better market ... Total sales of ... reached a little more than five billion rubles, which is more than in 2014 at 3%, as the increased and marginality. Group EBITDA reached 426 million rubles, which is more than last year's figures by 59%. "
However, net loss of the group actually did not change and amounted in 2015 1.58 billion rubles - against 1.6 billion in 2014. Long-term debt increased to 17 billion rubles (263 million dollars). Because of the debts that Prokhorov delayed, but did not pay, the cost of RBC shares on the stock exchange also continued to decline.
At RBC market is estimated at $ 60 million. However, the real value of the deal, which could be concluded if Mikhail Prokhorov still be forced to sell RBC, these figures can not affect, because the media assets in Russia are often sold not at the request of buyers and sellers, and not at market prices.
The last public appearance Prokhorov has been associated with the sport: the businessman showed basketball Brooklyn Nets a few tricks of the ancient techniques of martial arts teskao. The rightful owner of the American club Brooklyn Nets Prokhorov began in December 2015; about this and he told his former employee Anton Krasovsky. According Krasowski, Prokhorov also said he wants to keep the sports program at one of the federal channels: in his words, by "Match TV" has already received an offer, but he refused.
Brooklyn Nets cost is estimated at 875 million dollars; the value of its home arena, which also acquired Prokhorov - another 825 million dollars. Thus, the American basketball Prokhorov cost several times more likelyRBC media holding.