The Adventures of the Ingush Electronic in the Russian Federation

Billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev virtually monopolizes the market in sales of consumer electronics and appliances in Russia.
Influential businessman Gutseriev and his relative Mikhail Shishkhanov have obtained permission from the FAS to purchase a chain of stores "M.Video". Now, in the hands of the oligarchs, there are two huge networks selling electronics and household goods in Russia (including the recently acquired Eldorado network, as well as a share in Technosila), and they can start "price wars". Participants in business processes believe that Gutseriev is now experiencing serious problems and the purchase of "M.Video" may be an attempt to remedy the situation.

The situation of Gutseriev

Recall that Gutseriev put up at the end of 2016 for an IPO 20% of RussNeft, announcing that during the IPO before the end of this year will put up for sale on the Moscow stock exchange 20% of the shares of the oil asset. Data began to appear, according to which demand for Russneft shares exceeded supply by 30%. Only experts who are familiar with the financial problems of the Gutserievs do not rule out that the shares were bought by the owners themselves, or rather, affiliated with them, to withdraw funds from the problematic asset. The version of the possible withdrawal of funds is justified, since RussNeft's debts at the end of June 2016 amounted to about 1.26 billion dollars! At the same time, the net loss of the Gutseriev oil company under IFRS last year amounted to 27.65 billion rubles, revenue - 104.8 billion rubles.

Recall that the shares are placed Gutseriev not from a good life. They in the middle of 2016 actually laid a third of the company to at least slightly reduce the debt burden on RussNeft. Belyrian Holdings Limited pledged 33.1% of RussNeft as collateral. The company's shares went to secure bonds worth $ 1.5 billion, which were issued to reduce the debt to Vneshtorgbank.

In addition to a debt of $ 1.3 billion to VTB, the company was still about one billion dollars to related parties, affiliated with companies. Mikhail Gutseriev himself called such lending "a comfortable debt for a company of this scale." But, such loud statements are good for press releases, investors are unlikely to buy them. That is confirmed by rumors about the forthcoming purchase of Gutseriev's shares "from themselves."

If large investors are not interested in participating in the problem RussNeft, it is possible that the Gutserievs' clan will bet on individuals. As familiar with the company's plans, it was for this purpose that the company conducted a split of ordinary shares, as a result of which their number increased from 147,059 to 294.1 million.
The scheme with the involvement of natural persons is also convenient because such shareholders, who often own too little shares in order to influence the company's policy, will find it more difficult to prevent a businessman from having to empty the company's cash desk and "sit out" the noise that will rise, somewhere abroad ...

But despite the IPO problems at "RussNeft" continue. Only thanks to the restructuring in February this year, received from VTB loan for a total of $ 2.35 billion business Gutseriev, remained "afloat."

The Dark Past

Let us note that Mikhail Gutseriev's past, by the way, is rather interesting not only for readers, but also for law enforcement agencies. Of course, there was even a criminal case. So, in 2007 the court issued a sanction for the absentee arrest of Mikhail Gutseriev in the framework of the criminal case on evasion from payment of taxes on an especially large scale by RussNeft. As a result of the on-site inspection of RussNeft, tax claims amounted to 17.1 billion rubles - 14.5 billion rubles of taxes and pennies and 2.6 billion rubles of a fine. At the same time, the Moscow Arbitration Court received eight lawsuits against various commercial structures - former and current owners of RussNeft. The siloviks then said that with the help of these companies, the final owners of RussNeft - that is, the Gutserievs' clan - could "spray" the shares of the oil asset, "carrying out a chain of sales transactions that contradicted the letter of the law.

Employees of the Federal Tax Service came to the conclusion that securities of RussNeft were sold at a reduced price precisely for tax evasion. Such transactions, according to the Russian legislation, could be recognized as insignificant, and the income on them - is collected in favor of the state. At the time when Gutseriev was put on the wanted list, the businessman himself was already in London, selling off his assets and having received for them up to $ 3 billion from billionaire Oleg Deripaska. At the same time, the transaction was not approved by the antimonopoly service or the government commission.

In the UK, Mikhail Gutseriev addressed the Department of Migration Policy of the British Foreign Office. Asking for political asylum, which he did not seem to have been given. In 2010, Deripaska, as they say, returned Gutseriev control of "RussNeft" for $ 600 million. And in April of the same year, for an unknown reason, all criminal cases were closed against Gutseriev.

The episode of "business" Gutseriev

By the way, the name of Mikhail Gutseriev is often associated with the name of businessman Ahmed Bilalov, who is being treated in Germany (runaway?), Who was "lit up" in a large-scale Olympic carving up. In February 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to fire Bilalov from the post of vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee due to the non-target use of the credits from Vneshekonombank and disrupture of the construction schedule for the Olympic objects. Several months later, a criminal case was initiated against the businessmen due to "cases of unreasonable expenses related to the trips of the company's top managers abroad with the use of luxurious elements."

Bilalov decided to quickly go abroad and from there he announced that he would stay in Germany for medical reasons. In May of 2013, Mikhail Gutseriev bought 41.1% of the shares of Krasnaya Polyana from Magomed Bilalov, younger brother of the ex-head of state company Resorts of the North Caucases. But as soon as in November the owner of RussNeft decreased his package to 6%, and Sberbank became the owner of 92% of the shares. 

Based on the parameters of the placement of the additional issue of Krasnaya Polyana, presented by Sberbank, Mikhail Gutseriev would have to pay about 5.7 billion rubles to preserve his package. It is rumored that despite the "such company" as "RussNeft", the businessman simply did not have extra money - his oil asset "overgrew" with debts ...

It seems that Gutseriev's business is expanding, but this is only the appearance of an IPO and the supportive restructuring of VEB's loan left the billionaire "in business." The question of how the FAS admitted the merger of M.Video and Eldorado will go to the back burner if the law enforcement agencies start asking Mikhail Safarbekovich about RussNeft's exit to the stock exchange ...