The company of the Russian foreign minister's son-in-law will deal with problematic assets

The son-in-law of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, will try his hand at hunt for other people's assets.
Businessman Alexander Vinokurov left the post of head of the investment division of Alfa Group - A1, and created his own investment company Marathon Group. According to Vinokurov himself, he and his partner Sergey Zakharov, the former executive director of A1, will finance the projects from his own funds. Already now it is known, about the projects of "Marathon Group" will be formed in subholdings. The first of them is "Marathon Farm". It already includes the Joint Stock Kurgan Society of Medical Preparations and Products "Synthesis", "Biocom", the company "Megafarm", which manages the pharmacy chains "A-Mega" and "Yes Healthy", as well as "SIA groups" (formerly SIA International "), which completely passed under Vinokourov's control in February of this year.

The latter recently bought from VTB Capital Asset Management a 30 percent stake in Bentus Laboratories, which produces non-medicinal antiseptics of Sanitelle. The investment group, created by Vinokurov, intends to focus on business in retail, pharmaceuticals, transport infrastructure, agriculture and sales to retail stores of fast-moving goods. The most interesting thing is that "Marathon" will work with the problem assets.

And as a young entrepreneur, known for his kinship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, "works with problem assets", many players of domestic business have experienced.

As Vinokourov received "SIA"

The co-owner of SIA International, the current VIA group Vinokurov became in 2015, after the founder of the pharmaceutical company, Igor Rudinsky, unexpectedly died in October 2014. Members of the businessman's family during Rudinsky's lifetime did not participate in business. "Sia", as they say on the market, experienced some problems with the creditor banks. But these problems were hardly of such magnitude as to generate rumors: the alleged Rudinsky family might not have received compensation for the company's share of Vinokurov sold.

Moreover, the company "R-Pharm" also claimed to buy a controlling stake in "SIA". She managed to get the approval of the antimonopoly authority for the deal, but the negotiations stopped in the summer of 2015. According to some familiar with the situation, healthy competition has nothing to do with it, from participation in the transaction, "R-Pharm" could be pushed aside in the interests of Alexander Vinokurov.

Very "timely" at the end of 2015 in the media were rumors about the deplorable financial situation of the Rudinsky, which could spur the collapse of "Nota Bank," co-owned by Igor Rudinsky. There was no evidence that Vinokurov was the author of the information attack on Rudinsky. Nevertheless, the whole situation seemed to have developed specifically in favor of Lavrov's son-in-law. And already in February, "SIA" completely passed under the control of the former head of A1.

Familiar with the situation then did not exclude that Vinokurov could aim at gaining control over another notable player in the pharmacological industry - Pharmstandard. In March of last year, the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court decided in part to satisfy the claim of "SIA-International St. Petersburg" to "Farmakor". The plaintiff demanded as much as 0.9 billion rubles from the defendant. It was said that the claims of Vinokourov's structure could have caused a reduction in the number of Pharmacor pharmacies. Moreover, there is a possibility that these are not the last problems that "Pharmacor" from "SIA" will "fly" ...

Attack on "Eurodon"

As they say, "talents" of Alexander Vinokurov and in the conflict around the group "Eurodon" came in handy. Until 2013, Eurodon managed to recruit loans in the state-owned Vnesheconombank for 18 billion rubles. The company Eurodon-Yug, which was approved in 2012, and the credit line for 17.9 billion rubles, was credited to the financial organization and the Eurodon-related company.

In June last year, the former head of the Directorate of Natural Resources and Construction of the VEB Ilgiz Valitov was arrested. The former top manager of the bank was suspected of trying to seize the property of Eurodon. Ostensibly Valitov offered Evrodon loans for development, but in exchange could demand a share in VEB's money-making projects. Actually, it was during the period of Valitov's stay at the leading positions in VEB that "Eurodon" began to accumulate "debts to the bank.

Four months before the arrest of Valitov A1, which was still headed by Vinokurov, sold 40% of EuroDon to Vnesheconombank's structures. But the owner of the A1 package was only three weeks old, since she herself bought the company's shares from the offshore structure of Brimstone Investments, which formerly was the former head of the Russian Ministry of Property and a member of the board of directors of Gazprom, Farit Gazizullin. Deal A1 and VEB was a surprise for the largest shareholder of Eurodon Vadim Vaneev.

The fact is that immediately after the acquisition of the Eurodon package A1 filed three lawsuits - two against the company itself, the third - against Vaneev. As some market participants suggest, Vinokurov could have started the sale of the Eurodon package and litigation in the interests of Ilgiz Valitov to help the latter take possession of Vaneyev's business. Later, the claims were withdrawn, and Vadim Vaneev announced that the attack on his business was successfully repulsed.

However, the story of the "Eurodon" is not the only example of "wars" for assets, in which Alexander Vinokurov appeared, in particular, the investment division of Alfa Group took part in the redistribution arranged by the shareholders of the online retailer Yulmart. Several years earlier, A1 actually absorbed the Stroifarfor plant located in the town of Shakhty, and in the summer of 2014 a group of unknowns of up to 100 people attacked the crossing point of the enterprise, as they wrote in the forums, not with empty hands, but with traumatic and cold As a result, the management of the plant was removed from the management of the asset, and "Stroyfarfor", first transferred to a dummy, then went to A1.

A1 also participated in the "divorce" of the shareholders of the online seller of spare parts

Useful experience

Where did Mr. Vinokurov gain experience of interfering in other people's corporate conflicts, which, as the evil tongues say, if they end safely, then rather in spite of, rather than the actions of, the former head of A1? Perhaps the fact is that before the arrival in the end of 2014 in A1 son-in-law of the Russian Foreign Minister during 3.5 years presided in the group "Sum" Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov. Although his own "talents" of Alexander Vinokurov should not be denied.

One of the most memorable transactions that "Sum" held during the "rule" of Vinokourov is the acquisition of the transport company Fesco. And the company, as they say, went to great financial problems. Thus, Fesco's net loss under international reporting standards for 2014 amounted to 6.2 billion rubles. But after Vinokurov left Suma, the "transport" asset began to get out of the unprofitable "pit".

So maybe it's all because Alexander Vinokurov's business abilities in "sharing" foreign assets can be called brilliant, but with managing companies, when it is necessary not to select someone else's, but to develop, the son-in-law of Sergei Lavrov is no longer coping? No wonder Vinokurov's new project - "Marathon Group" intends to work with "problem assets". It seems that the owners of Russian companies, in particular, the pharmacological sector, should be more careful - soon "Marathon" can go to "hunt".