The sea of opportunities

How the Russian "Fish King" Vitaly Orlov made his first billion dollars.
Origin source
The head of Norebo Holding Vitaly Orlov, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, has become yet another Russian billionaire. Vitaly Orlov owns a fishing business: the key holding's company, Karat, produces 11% of the total fish production in our country, 60% of the catch is exported to other countries. Interestingly, a graduate of the Murmansk Nautical School in a relatively short time has become a virtual "sea king". But the information about how it happened is contradictory.

Components of success

According to experts, there are several reasons for such a successful business of Vitaly Orlov. Significant role in the development of the company was played by the anti-Russian sanctions: by reducing the amount of imports, the business could grow significantly. It is necessary to take into account the fact that the fishing industry is fairly stable. In turn, Bloomberg notes that the profitability of the leading holding's company, Karat, can be explained by the fact that the operating expenses of the holding are in rubles, and the profit from exports is in foreign currency.

There is also a version that the success of the latter-day billionaire provided that Vitaly Orlov is the owner of the nation's largest volume of quotas for pollock, herring and cod. In this regard, many ask which way the volume of quotas has been received? Vitaly Orlov until recently was considered one of the most non-public persons in the fishing industry. The issue was partially dimistified in an interview to Kommersand in February last year. Vitaly Orlov then explained his reticence that he had no time for publicity.

Although we can not exclude that the apparent reluctance to bring too much attention to himself is a simple caution, which can also be attributed to the components of success. Vitaly Orlov graduated from the Murmansk Higher Marine Engineering School named after Lenin Komsomol, becoming a navigator in 1991. Then he was invited to Sevryba Association, and later in the Swedish company Scansea International. Vitaly Orlov was engaged in contracts with suppliers, provided the supply of products for the further implementation. In 1996, after working for four years in Murmansk representative office, he moved to Norway, where there was also representation from Scansea.

Useful ties

In 1997, employees of Scansea: Magnus Roth and Vitaly Orlov established a new company called Ocean Trawlers, whtere they had 33% of the shares each, while the rest belonged to the owner of a number of fishing companies of Murmansk Alexander Tugushev. Within a few years the company's turnover increased to 1.5 billion NOK, and Ocean Trawlers took quite a strong position in the international market for the sale of cod and haddock.

But in 2004, at the Ocean Trawlers had problems with checking the Norwegian authorities. Vitaly Orlov explains insinuations. In addition, he said, the company began to manufacture products on board vessels, and thus deprived of work, many processing plants in the north of Norway. However, there is a different perspective on what is happening. According to media reports, the Norwegian law enforcement agencies started checking Ocean Trawlers of the company due to the fact that his long-time partner, the former deputy chairman of the State Committee for Fisheries, as well as the chairman of the liquidation commission agency Alexander Tugushi was in jail on charges of taking bribes in the amount of $ 3.7 million for the provision of quotas for pollock. As the defendants in this case were a group of Russian officials, such as former Head of the Department of Property and deputy chief Lenar Zinatulin administrative and economic management of JSC "Russian Railways" Andrew Lyskov.

As a result, Magnus Roth and Vitaly Orlov disappeared from Norway, and re-registered company in Hong Kong. The report "Trade flows in the fish market of Asia", which was prepared in 2009 for the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Norway zones, it is said that Ocean Trawlers buying up the catch in Russian companies and to transfer it to Chinese processors - in particular, the annual 50 000 tonnes cod and 10,000 tons haddock caught in the Barents sea. The main processor of a Chinese corporation became Pacific Andes International Holdings. In 2010, Magnus Roth said that Ocean Trawlers has become the biggest supplier of cod and haddock from the Barents Sea.

In addition, Orlov and Alexander Roth through holding Tugusheva actively engaged in buying assets in Russia. As a result, the ownership of "Carat" Murmansk Trawl Fleet has passed and the company "Sakhalin Leasing Fleet". According to Vitaly Orlov, helped expand the business a good relationship with Sberbank of Russia.


In 2012, Pacific Andes International Holdings Corporation management in order to raise the price of the shares, said control 60-70% of the total production of pollock in the Russian Far East. This caused harsh reaction in Moscow. As a result of the Russian authorities to change the law. Now foreign buyer claiming a share in the company, which is engaged in such activities must notify the state and receive approval for the deal. As I explained then head of public relations center of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Alexander Savelyev, if it becomes known that the company controlled by Ocean Trawlers, measures will be taken. First of all they will lose all the quotas for fishing.

But quotas Vitaly Orlov left. But Alexander Savelyev and the head of Federal Agency for Fishery Andrei Deadline eventually left the agency. By the way, Vitaly Orlov refused to Norwegian citizenship only in 2014. Media pay attention to the fact that Norwegian law does not allow dual citizenship. It turns out that Orlov misled the Norwegian authorities?

And last summer, it became known that the Eagles bought from Rota 33% of JSC "Holding Norebo". And the company has become a purely Russian. Thus, the problem was solved with quotas.


Industry analysts believe that Russia is coming redistribution of fishing businesses. From 2018 to change the quota allocation mechanism, some of them will be highlighted, as they say, "under the keel": companies that invest in fleet renewal. Experts suggest that fish and the interview of the Emperor could appear in the media is not accidental. Vitaly Orlov expressed support for the new quota allocation mechanism, because these methods of protection of their markets and their manufacturers have almost all developed countries. But for some reason, there is a feeling that his words were not addressed to the public and to those who need to hear them. Although, like, Vitaly Orlov made secure from all kinds of troubles. According to him, the share of foreign investors in the company of a minority and the conflict with the regulator can not be. All this is of course true, and that there will be in 2018, is unknown.

It seems that the news about the fact that in Russia there is another dollar billionaire, was to Vitaly Orlov is not very handy. In any case, the deputy director of the company
Sergey Sennikov the next day said the cost of holding mining "Norebo" fish may be lower than indicated by Bloomberg. According to him, the agency evaluation is not the same as the internal assessment of the holding company. «Bloomberg makes the assessment in its methodology, and we can not comment on how it is justified. We estimate the company's value is significantly lower, "- he said. And really, why boast of wealth? Silence, as you know - gold. A caution is Vitaly Orlov is justified.