Secret's of business

What are the largest Russian companies that prefer to remain silent about their financial results and rarely attract the attention of Russian media.
Origin source
When compiling a rating of 200 largest private companies in Russia, Forbes takes into account the revenue shown in the financial statements, examines the accounting data in the SPARK-Interfax system and sends a letter requesting information about the revenue to non-public companies that could potentially be included in the rating.

Companies do not always answer these letters. In such cases, Forbes estimates the company's revenue.

For the list of the most closed of the largest companies in Russia, those companies were first selected whose revenue had to be estimated from disparate open data. Then, at the request of Forbes, Medialogia calculated which of these companies were mentioned less often than others in the Russian media in 2018.

"Traffic light"

Branch: trade

Headquarters: Krasnoyarsk

Manager: Valentina Schneider

In 1994, brothers Andrei and Ivan Schneider and their mother Valentina created the Lenkom company in Krasnoyarsk, which was engaged in the distribution of beer and low-alcohol drinks. In 2004, they launched a new project - a chain of beer stores "File". In the summer of 2009 in the old part of Krasnoyarsk their first low-price store “Traffic Light” F 131 was opened. There were no shelves or counters in it, goods were sold directly from boxes and from wooden pallets.

When the first “Traffic Light” in Krasnoyarsk proved the promising format, Schneiders decided to replicate it: dozens of stores appeared in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and throughout Siberia. The volume of network revenue is not disclosed. The company does not respond to Forbes inquiries about this. Nevertheless, since 2017, Traffic Light has been included in the rating of 200 largest private companies in Russia. The company's revenue is measured by the financial indicators of legal entities associated with Schneiders.

For the whole of 2018, according to the "Medialogy", the company was mentioned in the Russian regional and federal media only 286 times.

Branch: trade

Headquarters: Moscow

Manager: Mikhail Bakhtiyarov

One of the leaders in the Russian automotive business was founded in 1998 by former Musa Motors dealer managers. Initially, the company sold Chrysler and Jeep cars, and now it is an official dealer of 44 automobile brands.

The company does not respond to Forbes requests from year to year, its financial indicators are not published, and annual revenue is estimated from scattered media reports, Major was mentioned 544 times over the past year.

GC "1520"

Industry sector: Construction

Headquarters: Moscow

Manager: Alexey Krapivin

The 1520 Group of Companies is a major contractor for Russian Railways; it is involved in the modernization of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur highways, in the reconstruction and development of the Moscow transport hub.

In 2018, co-owners of “1520” F 107 took first place in the Forbes ranking “Kings of the state order”, the amount of contracts they received from Russian Railways was estimated at 218.2 billion rubles. Nevertheless, the company was not included in the rating of the 200 largest in Russia due to its unclear structure. In October 2018, one of the co-owners of 1520 Group of Companies, Valery Markelov, was arrested, and the other, Boris Usherovich, was put on the international wanted list. The Investigative Committee of Russia suspects them of giving bribes in the amount of 2 billion rubles to Interior Minister Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko. Only after that it became clear that it was not a question of scattered companies belonging to them, but a group of companies. In 2019, Forbes recounted the consolidated revenue of 1520 Group of Companies and it was ranked among the 200 largest in Russia.

Despite the high-profile arrests and criminal cases, in the Russian media last year the company was mentioned, according to the "Medialogy", 1280 times.


Branch: trade

Headquarters: Moscow

Manager: Alexander Reebok

Mercury F 192 Group was founded in 1993 by Leonid Fridlyand and Leonid Strunin and is one of the largest Russian luxury goods retailers. In 2016, Mercury became the sole owner of TSUM. In addition to the Central Department Store, the group operates the Leningrad Trade House in St. Petersburg, Barvikha Luxury Village, the Barvikha Hotel & Spa, boutiques in Tretyakovsky Proezd and on Kutuzovsky Prospekt.

Mercury flew out of the ranking of the 200 largest private companies in Russia in 2017 and returned to it in 2019. The company refuses to provide financial performance. According to the “Medialogy”, in 2018 Mercury was mentioned in the Russian media 1,550 times.

Fix price

Branch: trade

Headquarters: Moscow

Manager: Dmitry Kirsanov

The first Fix Price store, operating on the popular all-in-one price concept in the world, was opened in December 2007. Today it is a network of 3316 stores in 830 settlements of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Latvia. The company was founded by long-standing partners, former co-owners of the Kopeyka chain of stores (sold their shares in 2007) and the Centrobuv stores, Sergey Lomakin and Artem Khachatryan. In the fall of 2016, Lomakin was put on the federal wanted list on suspicion of fraud. A few months later, Lomakin and Khachatryan left the Fix Price shareholders. The new co-owners were one of the direct investment funds, a group of investors from the Baltic states and several managers, including the network’s general director Dmitry Kirsanov.
The company traditionally does not respond to Forbes requests for revenue - it is calculated according to information from the SPARK-Interfax database. In 2018, there were 2,504 references to Fix Price in the Russian media.

Norebo Holding

Industry sector: Fisheries

Headquarters: Murmansk

Manager: Vitaly Orlov

The largest fishery holding in Russia began with the Murmansk company Karat and the Norwegian Ocean Trawlers, founded by partners Vitaly Orlov, Magnus Roth and Alexander Tugushev. Ocean Trawlers supplied the Russian fishermen with used Norwegian trawlers, and also bought the catch from them. Today, the Norebo F 159 holding includes 14 fishing companies in the North-West and Far East, as well as a sea transport company in St. Petersburg.

In 2017, the holding topped the rating of the largest fishing companies in Russia according to Forbes. At the same time, the management of the holding traditionally refuses to call its revenue, explaining this as “certain confidentiality agreements with our main creditors”. When compiling the rating of 200 largest private companies, its assessment based on SPARK-Interfax data was taken into account.

Currently, a lawsuit continues in London between the owner of Norebo billionaire Vitaly Orlov and his former partner Alexander Tugushev. Despite this, last year the holding was mentioned in the Russian media only 2,266 times.