How the "master of Donbass" Rinat Akhmetov does business in war

Rinat Akhmetov is leading by a wide margin in all rankings of the richest people of Ukraine. None of the financial and industrial groups of the country can not be compared with his business empire, System Capital Management.
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In the past, good times Akhmetov called the "master of Donbass" - its main assets, but who hosts here now, this is a big issue in this region work. For months Akhmetov desperately balanced without taking any side in Kiev or Donetsk. But then the war came in the Donbass, and have become even more difficult is the fight.

In July, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk and billionaire Igor Kolomoisky called "confiscate the property of the supporters of separatism".

"They rested on a non-competitive basis, actually bezoplatnoy dozens of factories, power companies," Ukrtelecom "[owned by Akhmetov]. Today, due to these enterprises Yanukovych and his cronies actually sponsor the murder of our citizens "- this statement Kolomoisky, cited in Facebook his deputy Boris Filatov, published dozens of books, including the Russian Interfax," Vedomosti "and" Expert ". Now guide the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) states that "basic industries" should be in the hands of the state. The "basic industries & raquo; It operates many businesses Akhmetov.

In August, after the shelling stopped four of them - Donbass plants with a total value of $ 2.5 billion of assets People are dying, eager to supply and marketing chain, falling steel production and coal mining.. Will the businessman to maintain control of his empire, and do not have to if eventually choose which position of the parties to the conflict closer to him?

The owner of Donbass

In January 2013, Rinat Akhmetov, according to Bloomberg estimates, occupied the first place among the richest people in Ukraine and 26th in the world. His fortune was estimated at $ 22.3 billion - more than in any of the Russian billionaires. In September 2014 the agency assess its condition in the $ 12.7 billion. Now Akhmetov lags just six Russians.

The main assets of businessman unites "System Capital Management" (SCM) - the largest financial and industrial group in Ukraine. It owns 71,24% Metinvest BV Holding (includes companies in the coal, mining, coke, iron and steel and pipe industries) and DTEK (coal and electricity).

However, SCM has also included in the top 10ankov country First Ukrainian International Bank, engineering Corum Group, transport company "Portinvest", "Ukrtelecom" telecommunications operator, media holding, real estate and many other enterprises. SCM - second only to the state of "Naftogaz" tax payer in Ukraine. According to its own data of the company, its contributions to the budgets of all levels amounted to about 29 billion hryvnia - 4.7% of all tax revenues in the country in 2012 (later data yet).

SCM Group was established in 2000, but many of its assets that belonged to JSC "ARS". "In 1992-1995, I worked in the" informal economy. " We company "ARS", we are engaged in trade coal and coke was created. During these years, I earned my first million ", - confessed the businessman in 2006. Now Empire Akhmetov more than 100 companies and over 300 thousand. Employees. Home Business - Metals and energy: in 2012, consolidated sales of SCM were $ 23.5 billion, while 53.4% ​​were in "Metinvest", 39.7% - by DTEK.

Base Steel Division "Metinvesta "- Donbass plants. In particular, it belongs to Khartsyzsk Tube - the largest CIS producer of longitudinal welded large-diameter pipes and a major supplier of "Gazprom".

Since 1996, headed by Akhmetov football club "Shakhtar", which does not leave with the title of champion of Ukraine in 2010. If Akhmetov club nine times champion of the country, and in 2009 won the Cup UEFA. Construction of "Donbass Arena", "Miner" home stadium, with a capacity of over 50 thousand. Spectators cost more than $ 400 million.

Possession of all this property was reserved for the unofficial title of Akhmetov Donbass host. But it is not only in the factories, says head of the Ukrainian Center for Applied Political Studies "Penta" Volodymyr Fesenko. "It is also the overall impact on the region and the possible impact on the life of the country at the expense of resources of the region", - he stressed.

Akhmetov and Yanukovych

Formally Akhmetov policy came only in 2007, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada on the list headed by Viktor Yanukovych, the Party of Regionss. However, in the next elections did not participate in 2012.

"Akhmetov, Yanukovych's support since the late 1990s - says President of the Ukrainian Analytical Center Oleksandr Okhrimenko. - Together, they engaged in the creation of the Party of Regions. I think, in fact Akhmetov Yanukovych has created a great policy. " In response to questions the Financial Times, published on the official website of SCM in March, Akhmetov said that the family of Viktor Yanukovich knows more than 20 years, but they have a common business.

Hard times for Akhmetov came when, in early 2005, became president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, whose main rival in the elections was just Yanukovych. In February 2005, Ukraine nationalized combine "Krivorozhstal", which is owned by Akhmetov, along with in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Pinchuk. Then they were searched in his offices and residence. Lawyers then Akhmetov said that searches are considering as a political order, but formal complaints were brought against the businessman.

In 2010, Yanukovych still become president of Ukraine. Akhmetov to theat the time he settled in the first part of the list of the richest people in the world: SCM assets worth $ 22.8 billion, and revenue was $ 12.8 billion in 2012 (the consolidated report for the 2013th group is not published) SCM reported on the assets in the $ 32. billion and revenue of $ 23.5 billion.

Enterprises Rinat Akhmetov Ukraine produces:

24% steel

48% coal

30% of electricity

During the reign of Yanukovych Akhmetov's empire has grown considerably. DTEK bought the state blocks of shares of a number of energy companies led by the largest "Dniproenergo." As a result, the total volume of supply of electric power generating enterprises of DTEK has doubled (to 51.4 bn kW ∙ h) in 2012, they accounted for 46.1% of the total coal production in Ukraine, 28.5% of electricity generation and supply 37.8% and electricity sales.

In 2012 SCM bought the 50% state-owned stake in the company "Lemtrans", which after the transaction has become the largest private operator of cars in Ukraine. Now she has to manage more than 16 thousand. Gondola railway, and in late 2013 the company's CEO Vladimir Mezentsev told Ukrainian portal on planx to increase the number of cars up to 20 ths. in 2014. For comparison, the state of "Ukrzaliznytsya" ( "Ukrainian Railways"), about 116 thousand. Wagons.

Last year, Akhmetov bought from the Austrian group EPIC 92,79% «Ukrtelecom" - the country's largest fixed-line operator: 71% of the local telephony market, 83% of the telecommunications market and the only one in Ukraine license for third-generation mobile network (3G). In 2010, SCM holding "Portinvest" was created, in which it was decided to consolidate the port assets. In the same year the company received the control of the "Maritime industrial complex" in Sebastopol, one of the region's largest shipyards.

It seemed apparent reason to support the people who started the protest against the preparation of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU in November last year, it has not been Akhmetov. Or you were?

After Independence

Europe - the main market for the steel business Akhmetov outside Ukraine. In 2012, the income of "Metinvest" to $ 12.8 billion, of which 24% CompansI have earned on the European markets - by 5 percentage points more than at home, and twice as much as in all CIS countries. At Akhmetov has long had ambitions to transform his company into a transnational, and the signing of an association agreement with the EU would facilitate his access to Europe, notes the analyst Okhrimenko.

Akhmetov, for the first time expressed a position on the issue December 13, 2013: all want clear why Ukraine has suspended talks on association with the European Union, and Independence - is evidence of the fact that Ukraine - a "free democratic country", and politicians should sit at the negotiating table. By that time in Kiev were already massive collision between the people on the streets and security forces, which then escalated into street fights with the loss of life and eventually led to a change of government.

February 22, 2014 the Verkhovna Rada has announced that Yanukovych "withdrew from the execution of the constitutional powers" of the president. And on May 25, he was elected president of another member of the global Forbes list - Petro Poroshenko (1395 th place with the state estimate of $ 1.3 billion). Another major Ukrainianbusinessman, founder of the group "Privat" Igor Kolomoisky (in 2013 «Forbes Ukraine" estimated his fortune at $ 1.8 billion), in March, was appointed head of Dnipropetrovsk regional administration.

After December 13 SCM became the owner regularly publish comments on current events. From Winter statements it appeared that Akhmetov moderately support the association with the EU and has consistently called for negotiations. Since the separation of the Crimea and the beginning of the armed conflict in the south-east Akhmetov each statement said support unified Ukraine.

But the "friends" he would not leave: in early April Ukrainian security forces tried to storm the captured protestors building of the Donetsk regional administration, then the Internet there was a record in which a man with a voice like the voice of Akhmetov, said the protesters: "If it is storming, I'll go with you. " Then I managed to persuade protesters to go to the headquarters of the Interior Ministry for talks. A few days later Akhmetov to mention the support of those who came to the rally for that "Donetsk respected", and about the same time the gardenilsya negotiate with arrived in Donbass Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Negotiations nor to no avail: April 15, acting president Oleksandr Turchynov announced the start of "the power phase of the antiterrorist operation" in the south-east of the country.

Initially, the growth of the conflict in the business Akhmetov almost no effect. In the first half "Metinvest" reduced steel production by 8% compared with the same period last year, iron ore concentrate - by 3%, coking coal concentrate - by 21%, but the company is mainly explained by seasonal fluctuations and technical reasons.

In the same policy area Akhmetov was in a very difficult situation: he had to depend on Kiev, and from where he had major assets, said the director of the Kiev Center for Political and Conflict Studies Mikhail Pogrebinsky. He said political analyst, "tried to maneuver."

In 2005, Akhmetov first time in a list of the US Forbes: magazine estimated his fortune at $ 2.5 billion and put it on the 258 th place. In 2010year with a fortune of $ 5.2 billion, the businessman was on the 148-th place, and in 2011 - right on the 39th. Evaluation of his condition grew so $ 16 billion.

Hostage situation

Rinat Akhmetov, according to his press secretary Elena Dovzhenko, continues to live in Donetsk, regularly leaving for other regions of the country. Akhmetov himself refused to talk with RBC.

"He was always very flexible. In the current situation it is a hostage: the plants are not easy to stop and not a uvezesh "- expresses an opinion one of the Russian top managers, who worked for a long time in Ukraine. If Akhmetov, left, then would change the balance of power in the whole country, and not the fact that after the businessman was able to return, he said.

Spring Akhmetov formulated its position very clear: Donbass should remain part of Ukraine, but to get more power. The only right way on the official video of May 14, he called the change of the Constitution and the decentralization of power. According to him, collect all the power in Kyiv and the regions to develop a residual can no longer, but the creation of the Donetsk People's Republic or accession Upbass to Russia and all the way to ruin: the production will rise, because of the sanctions, no one can buy its products.

24% of all steel in Ukraine, according to UBS estimates, produce plants located in areas covered by the fighting

By this time the conflict has directly affected the business Akhmetov. "Today, the representatives of the so-called DNR seized the railway. [...] They stopped the heart of Donbass! [...] Without the Donbas Industrial railroad die, "- said in a statement the businessman of 19 May. DNI he called "rogues" who "took hostage the entire Donbass".

But on May 25, representatives of the occupied Donetsk DNR begins the battle for the airport - the first battle of the Ukrainian army, accompanied by air strikes and entailed massive casualties. And the second half of June Akhmetov transferred to the reproaches in the address in Kiev. The word "negotiations" is found in each of his statement, however, it does not specify who and what has to say. "Even though a bald devil must be negotiated, but need peace", - he said on 27 June.

By early July, the number of victimswith both warring sides and among the civilian population exceeded one thousand, Ukrainian army used air and artillery power. The militiamen began to concentrate in the region of Donetsk, airstrikes threat looming over the city-millionaire. July 6 Akhmetov gave an interview to television channel "Ukraine".

The war in the Donbas

"Donbass bomb can not be" - this phrase in a conversation with a journalist Akhmetov repeated several times, urging respect Donbass, his ambitions, traditions and the right to speak in Russian. "Personally, I see a happy Donbass in unified Ukraine" - sums up the businessman. In the evening of the same day, as reported by the press service of "Metinvest" to its constituent Khartsyzsk Tubes arrived armed men of the DNI. "Referring to the orders of their commanders, they took 10 factory cars, and then left the territory", - explained the press service.

Four days later he came under fire from the mine bus "Red Partisans" in the Luhansk region, which carried the miners to replace. Killed four, another 16 were injured. July 11 shells fell on the territory of the enterprise "Krasnodoncoal ", one person was killed and two were injured. In July DTEK almost daily reported the destroyed power lines de-energized and the mines. July 15 DTEK announced the stop of the four mines in Luhansk region and evacuation of the Donetsk office of the company in other cities. July 22 shells hit the shops Avdiivka Coke. The infrastructure of Donbass on the brink of destruction, said the general director Maxim Timchenko DTEK.

In August it was damaged Enakievo Steel, mine "Samsonovskaya-Western" and "Komsomolets Donbas" and "Enakievo koksohimprom" Khartsyzsk Tube and Makeyevka Steel Works stopped. At the time of delivery of this issue on the resumption of their work were reported. In late August, a bomb hit the "Donbass Arena".

In July Khartsyzsk Pipe Works has reduced production by 8.4% compared to June, Mariupol Ilyich (CMI) has reduced by 14.6% pig iron and 8% - BOF steel, "Azovstal" has reduced steel production by 14, 4%. Yenakiyevo Steel Plant converter shop in July bl loaded on 40%, the same amount loaded blast furnace shop machines, the company said.

By mid-August due to the damage of the railway infrastructure and the escalation of the conflict in the supply of coal blast furnaces were 40% lower than planned, the report points out UBS analyst Daniel Yakub. On 13 August coal deliveries to Yenakiyevo Steel Plant have been 51% below plan, "Iron and Steel" - 42%, MMK - by 26%, to "Azovstal" - on 15%. "We believe that steel producers may feel the impact in September", - experts predict.

Akhmetov company is trying to adapt to the wartime conditions: DTEK is constantly working to restore power settlements and businesses, logistics division "Metinvest" has established the headquarters for coordination of cargo flows. Reduced production in Ukraine, the company is trying to compensate by growth at its European plants. Mining production is partially reoriented for export. Corum Group, the main customers which so far have been in Russia, enters the Chinese market and openssales office in Romania, says Eugene Buzykin of SCM press service. But one of the main dangers for Rinat Akhmetov that and Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk and threatened nationalization of assets, said Kirill Chuiko from BCS.

Between the upper and the nether millstone

The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region "did not call for re-privatization of property Akhmetov," it said in a written reply to a representative of the regional administration in the RBC inquiry about the July declaration of the governor: "The property was supposed to transfer to a specialized joint-stock company whose shareholders are exclusively to members of the antiterrorist operation." Officially, Kiev still has not reacted to the statement by the governor of Dnipropetrovsk.

The redistribution of assets in favor of Kolomoisky could easily happen, and Akhmetov in the absence of the former administrative resources will be difficult to defend "acquired good," said RBC party official talks between Kyiv, Moscow, the OSCE, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Repubikami, requested anonymity. Okhrimenko also Kolomoisky calls "the most active, aggressive and strong" among all the other business.

The fact that Kolomoisky - the only rival who would have the strength to compete with Akhmetov, and says the top manager, who worked in Ukraine. Although this battle Kolomoisky be weakened, and its position is hardly necessary. In Kiev, the authorities, says RBC interlocutor, have all the resources that might be needed against Akhmetov. "But with the country's few independent centers of [power] and [in terms of training early] elections, such a struggle would lead to the strengthening of third forces, it would be dangerous [for Kyiv]," - he concludes and summarizes: Akhmetov and Poroshenko are now more likely allies.

Meanwhile, even under the threat of nationalization of their assets Rinat Akhmetov, in no hurry to support the government. In May, in an interview to Ukrainian "Channel 5" Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko said that Akhmetov should form a battalion of territorial defense. On the proposal businessman stillop did not respond.

According to head of mobilization department of the Ministry of Defense DNI Paul Gubarev, Akhmetov, "attempted to agree on how to not bombed his property." With him personally Akhmetov did not communicate, said Gubarev, but in April his representatives offered financial assistance DNR - DNR abandoned. Press Secretary Akhmetov Elena Dovzhenko called approval Gubarev "fairy tales." "Earlier, Mr Akhmetov has commented like this: he did not give and will not give [DNR] one penny," - she said.

Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Boroday in May said that the DNI respect the right of private property, and the fact that the representatives of Akhmetov went into negotiations, confirms its position on the issue of Ukraine's integrity is not final. However, after the words of a happy businessman Donbass in Ukraine single DNI rhetoric has changed.

People "want the socialization of private property," says the chairman of the Supreme Council of the DNI Boris Litvinov. "Most of the deputies [the Supreme Council of the DNI] ustroeny to ensure that the basic industries were in the hands of the state, because it does not have to go with an outstretched hand, collecting taxes, he must have the infrastructure, land resources, metallurgy, coal, gas, "- he said RBC.

Until now, Rinat Akhmetov managed to negotiate with any Ukrainian government, and the scale of the business empire allowed him to occupy a special position in Ukraine - in many ways Akhmetov was stronger and more stable than any regime. But the war has not yet encountered. With the win this time - money or weapons? Zlato or damask?