The Swedes wavered: how a Russian businessman squeezed 25 billion rubles out of IKEA

Konstantin Ponomarev has already seized a record sum of money by court action and demands additional 36 billion rubles from the Swedish corporation. Is it a gamble or pragmatic calculation?
Origin source
Numbering spontaneous offices in the business center, which has turned gray building institute "Proektmashdetal" in the industrial area on the Star Boulevard in Moscow, begins with a three-digit numbers. It is important. The guard at the entrance patiently explains that the office number 18 in the business center and there never was. However, the question itself is held in a black uniform is not surprising. "They came already asked - and the prosecutor's office, and even from the FSB", - confessed the guards called the man in a business suit, a representative of the building owner.
Why security forces interested in a non-existent office on Star Boulevard? The fact that it is at this address to the elimination of the company has been registered "independent power supply systems" (SAE), which account for one day in November 2010 dropped huge sum of 25 billion rubles. To pay the money the company "IKEA Mos". General Director and owner of the EPS was a little-known businessman Konstantin Ponomarev.

With what can we compare this amount? For example, in the shopping center "Gallery" on Ligovsky Avenue Morgan Stanley real estate fund paid about $ 1 billion. Etabout was the biggest deal in the history of St. Petersburg commercial real estate market. And the most revenue "IKEA Mos", which owned 11 giant complexes "Mega" throughout Russia, was only 17.5 billion rubles in 2010 (Interfax SPARK data). To pay off the 39-year-old Ponomariov, the company - the main owner of OOO "IKEA MOS" - made an additional property contribution to the charter capital of LLC. Company This money would be enough to build five malls "Mega".
Why inflexible Swedes, hardened by more than a decade of struggle with Russian bureaucrats and earned the image of austere and rational businessmen, paid the money to the owner of a small company's main asset in a couple of hundreds of mobile diesel generators, which cost barely exceeded $ 100 million? And why Ponomarev IKEA requires an additional 36 billion rubles?

First the last client

We talk with Konstantin Ponomarev in his country house in the exclusive village. At the gates of the high fence on duty security guards, parked in the courtyard of a few expensive cars, but the study'szyaina house is more like a library - shelves from floor to ceiling lined with carefully collected works in good journals.

"It so happened that" IKEA Mos "I was the first customer in the business - says Ponomarev history of their relationship with the Swedish company. - The Swedish steel and last client. "

How did the business for the leasing of diesel generator sets? His career began in Ponomarev auditing company Ernst & Young, then became a partner Jamison Firestone, co-founder of the consulting firm "Firestone Duncan", known today because it worked for Sergei Magnitsky and Browder was Bill Fund among its clients. With partner Ponomarev fell out in late 1996. Firestone blamed Ponomariov in the withdrawal of the company's $ 1 million, but then he was a defendant in the investigation.

Another friend drew a foreigner Ponomarev investor in business related to the supply of construction equipment, so the former auditor was engaged including rental of diesel generators. Later it became his core business (with foreignersNomar separated in 2003 and continued to work himself).

Portable diesel power plant (DPP), which include diesel generators - devices that allow developers to provide electricity for the construction site before it resolved all issues with connection to a stationary grid. Kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is produced by Diesel, an average of 4-5 times more expensive than electricity power substation, explains the director of CBRE Property Management Department Dmitry Sveshnikov. So it is always a temporary solution. By the logic of developers are interested in the speedy network connection. In addition, the diesel generators used as backup power source in case of emergency. These iron cabins look like a building site huts or containers and transported by truck.

According to Konstantin Ponomarev, by 2006 his company occupied more than 20% of the market, although it is stipulated that detailed studies have been conducted. "IKEA Mos" in the 2000s was the largest owner of commercial real estate and built trade morevye centers of over 120,000 square meters. m. In the Russian context it was a risky decision.

The first Director General of IKEA Russia Lennart Dahlgren in his book "Contrary to the absurd: I conquered Russia, and it is me," recalled that for the construction of only one IKEA store needed more than 300 permits, the rules are often at odds with each other.

Get permission for connection to the power grid was also difficult. Therefore, the "IKEA Mos" is often rented diesel generators. "IKEA has always been critically important to know in advance the date of opening of the regular" Mega ", - says Konstantin Ponomarev, - to inform its tenants and collect from them an advance payment. On many sites, they respect this date with our DES ".

Companies associated with Ponomariov actually handed over "IKEA Mos" rent a small amount of diesel power in 2005, recognizes Semen Shevchenko, a lawyer from the Bar "Monastic, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners", representing the interests of "IKEA Mos" in Russian courts . But to assume that the generalof this counterparty will result in multi-billion dollar losses, could not then no.

St. Petersburg plugging

Shopping and entertainment center "Mega-Dybenko" in St. Petersburg is located on a huge vacant lot right next to the ring road. The first thing that strikes you when you come here, - massive cooling tower thermal power station located nearby. It would seem that the problems with electricity should not be here. However, to connect to the networks of St. Petersburg malls "Mega-Dybenko" and "Mega-Parnas" was for IKEA harder than in any other city.

The first IKEA store in the Leningrad highway in Khimki near Moscow opened on 22 March 2000, the first malls "Mega Teply Stan" and "Mega-Khimki" earned in the Moscow region in 2002 and 2004. And in St. Petersburg is not going well, despite the fact that negotiations with the local authorities started earlier than with the leadership in Moscow and the Moscow region. "Everything is stalled at the stage of discussion, summing up the cost of communications, in particular electricity and gas," - wrote in his book Dahlgren.
By 2005, the Swedes opened in the northern capital derevoobrabatyvayuschy factory "Swedwood" and the first IKEA store. In 2005, they found the site in the area, and finally began the construction of two Megamall, "Mega-Dybenko" and "Mega-Parnas".

It was assumed that each object would require about $ 250 million investment, but actual spending were much higher.
By the end of 2006, when both the mall were scheduled to open, the contract with "Lenenergo" on the technical connection to the networks of the "IKEA MOS" was signed by only one site - "Mega-Dybenko". Needless connection, however, has not taken place - the contractor does not have time to finish the substation "Kudrovo".

Negotiations with the power companies on the "Mega-Parnas" began in 2005, but "Lenenergo" complex technical conditions put forward - it was necessary not only to build a substation, but also to coordinate their actions on the court with the Federal and other government agencies. Most of the conditions could be done only in 2007, a contract was signed with energy only in October 2007, one year after the opening of the mall. "Due to the fact that the works were not completed podryadchICOM to the planned opening date of "Mega-Parnas", we had to rent a diesel generator for temporary power supply, "- gave a written reply to a question Forbes Chairman of the Board" IKEA Mos "John Rasmussen. In "Lenenergo", refused to comment, explaining that since the company changed its management and no one knows anything.

Manual shift and the very "IKEA Mos". Lennart Dahlgren, who led the company for eight years, lost his post Kaufman Peru the summer of 2006. It was then that it became clear that electricity from "Lenenergo" does not go to any of St. Petersburg's malls. "IKEA Mos" had to make an unprecedented step: already opened shopping centers were supplied with electricity exclusively from diesel generators. The tender for the lease of these generators was won by "IMS" Ltd. Konstantin Ponomarev.

Energy without frontiers

Litigation Ponomarev and Swedish companies are drawn to the 2008, and today in hundreds of volumes - a mountain of documents in which the parties are willing to challenge every shaenemy, accuse each other of bad faith and catch the contradictions. That the representatives of the tender "IKEA Mos" consider unfair: An employee who has been entrusted with this work, received from applicants three sets of documents. But two of them, according to the Swedes, have been associated with Konstantin Ponomarev, ie the contractor was competing with himself. Later retired employee. Ponomarev argues that none of the competitors could not deliver the required number of stations on time. It was necessary, he said, 112 power plants of about 80,000 kW. "We've had a 160-170 large industrial diesel power plants of total capacity of about 130 MW, - he says. - This is 10% of the capacity of the Boguchanskaya HPP - 1332 MW. "

In October 2006, the project manager from St. Petersburg malls Bo Ardevall and deputy director of the "IKEA Mos" estate Ulf Pettersson was signed with the "IMS" Ltd. Konstantin Ponomarev two lease agreement on two sites generators.
These agreements and additional agreement thereto concluded in 2007-2008, give the impression of a well-planned game of chess, whichI ate and businessman Ponomarev won and lost, "IKEA Mos' management. "Unfortunately, because of their [agreements] complex structure was virtually impossible to initially determine the final cost of services", - says the chairman of the "IKEA Mos" Board of Directors, John Rasmussen.

What does he mean? Firstly, none of the contracts did not specify exactly how much diesel generators leases "IKEA Mos". It is clear only that the IMS should provide total backup power generators at least 12 of 500 kilovolts-ampere (kVA) for "Mega-Parnas" and not less than 4000 KVA for "Mega-Dybenko". There is no upper limit. Secondly, the price was calculated on the basis of 1 kVA standby power at night. That is, IKEA had to pay for any generator to rent, regardless of whether it works or not. The more generators, the more pay.

The first additional agreement to each contract increased the required minimum of 8,000 kVA - up to 20 500 for "Mega-Parnas" and 12,000 for the larger "Mega-Dybenko". These agreements establishRental price: 112.5 rubles per 1 kVA standby power at night.

How many generators brought to the area near the ring road in the north and east of St. Petersburg, Konstantin Ponomarev, by 1 January 2007? Forbes estimates made on the basis of acts of acceptance of diesel generators, signed by the engineers "IKEA Mos". The number of plants was not constant, some were imported, some were taken away, having worked thousands of hours. But if you compare the date, power numbers and inventory numbers mentioned in Acts, we can get an idea of ​​how many were on the EDL of a site at any one time.

It turns out that on January 1 about "Mega-Dybenko" DES was 38 with total capacity of nearly 30,000 kVA, and at the site of "Mega-Parnas" - about 42 power plants of the same capacity. That is, the generators were brought in one case, 2.5 times, and in the other one-third more than the suggested minimum specified in the contract. If he was also the maximum, the Swedes would have paid in January, 14 million rubles for rent generators Dybenko and 71 million on Parnassus. As a result, as Ponomarev could help for 100 million rubles eachth site.

How much power is really needed "Megam" to provide all necessary tenants and visitors? When both the mall is still connected to "Lenenergo" networks, each received 22,000 kVA capacity for the second category of reliability.

For the first time, it would be enough to 6000 kVA, the lawyer IKEA Semen Shevchenko today. That's how much IKEA asked the St. Petersburg sales company after connecting to "Lenenergo", despite the fact that it was reserved more power.

"Mega-Parnas" worked on my generators for four years, - Konstantin Ponomarev argues - and in all that time IKEA was presenting our claims only due to lack of capacity and not due to an excess. "
During 2007, Ponomarev dokupal diesel generators from other suppliers, and brought them to the shopping malls, "IKEA Mos". The more, the better - because earnings depend on the amount of spare capacity DES that accumulate at the site.

Generation debt

Diesel generators consume fuel. According to the most closerYelnia count (accurately count is impossible, because all have different power consumption), to pay for diesel fuel accounts for 60-70% of total costs DES tenant. Another 15-20% is spent on rent payment and technical support stations, that is, the work of technicians.

In the original version of the treaty "IKEA Mos" and stipulated the ISM fuel cost $ 0.861 per liter. How the Swedish company will pay for the fuel, dependent on how many will spend producing electricity, power. But in March 2007 Ulf Pettersson has signed a new supplementary agreement: the price of a liter of diesel fuel decreased by 11%, but fuel, rent and maintenance are included in the common fare. It would seem simple: "IKEA MOS" was to pay 190 rubles for 1 kVA standby power.

"The Swedes thought that diesel fuel began to steal, and they decided to shift the blame on me," - throws up his hands Ponomarev.

As of August 1, 2007 on both sites to work, according to our estimates, 67 DES capacity 64 195 kVA. In a month they could be worth 378 million rubles.

Amounts alarmed Menages the head IKEA, in September of Sweden in St. Petersburg was sent engineer Staffan Germansson. As he said later in an interview with "Business Petersburg", his job was to deal with electricity and to understand why it is so costly. Germansson considered that "IKEA Mos" pays for generators on average $ 11 million per month, while the market price is less than $ 3 million.

Ponomarev refutes these allegations. He refers to the fact that the test carried out in late 2008, the Office of Tax Crimes Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow region has shown that prices Ponomarev 8% lower than that of its five competitors. It is noteworthy that during the same inspection found that the general director of LLC SAE Ponomarev receives a salary of 5 million rubles per month and 100 million annual bonus.

In 2007, the "IKEA Mos" spent on diesel generators 3.55 billion rubles. Recent dopsoglasheniya Deputy Director Ulf Pettersson was signed in September 2007. Despite concerns center contracts with the IMS extended until the end of 2008, we have made it virtually impossible for their unilateral termination and imposed onyazatelny monthly payment of 140 million rubles.

After this talk with Konstantin Ponomarev himself became Per Kaufmann. It was he who at the end of the year has managed to reduce the monthly payment to 55 million rubles.

Blind loan

But these 55 million were not final sum. From contract signed by Ponomarev and Kaufman, it follows that the final rate of 190 rubles per 1 KW has not changed. On balance not covered in advance, given the delay on the terms of a commercial loan at the rate of 0.1% per day, or 36% per year. "Probably, IKEA could in theory find more favorable terms of credit in the market, - shrugs Ponomarev. - But because they did not do it. "

In Moscow, no one knew how many generators were rented and how much it costs, Semen Shevchenko explains. Equipment accepted chief engineers "Meg." They signed the acts of acceptance and maintain records, but the amounts of these technical documents had not. Accountant and Chief Financial Officer in Moscow have only seen monthly bills at the same 55 million rubles. A Ponomarev continued to supply generators on site.

at the ende 2007 "Mega-Dybenko" finally joined the network "Lenenergo" (the truth while the third category of reliability without redundancy), and by March 2008, the entire shopping center moved to the supply from the mains. "No matter how much DPS on Dybenko In any case, it is clear that since the spring of 2008 they had to be at least half as much!" - Outraged Shevchenko.

In fact it went wrong. Judging by the acts of acceptance, from February to May 2008 in the area shopping center "Dybenko", which, according to representatives of the "IKEA Mos" have worked on the network and DES is not needed, it was brought 38 additional stations, the total reserve capacity over 25 000 kVA. Total around the "Mega-Dybenko" accumulated more than 50 generators with total capacity of nearly 60,000 kVA.

What could be the average monthly price of generating facilities? About 260 million rubles. Of these, 55 million were covered in advance, and the rest became a debt, which accrued interest is serious. This debt, which "IKEA Mos", according to its representatives, did not know until 2010, and they grew like a snowball. In the courts of Konstantin Ponomarevroar required only the amount of advances for 2008. "To say that I could cheat on IKEA putting the market in which the rent whatsoever - all the same that to say that I could deceive them on the market for design stools, - said Konstantin Ponomarev. - "IKEA Mos", with more than 3,000 tenants know about renting it. The agreement was signed by the Director General and executed by the courts of all instances to be valid and signed. "

Steel arm

Summer evening of June 30, 2008 Ponomareva urgently invited to Peru Kaufman. The conversation was in a raised voice. According to Ponomarev, he was required to immediately terminate the contract and take DEL, otherwise threatened with high connections in the government, the presidential administration, the FSB and so on.

«IKEA - steel hand in a silk glove, - transfers words Kaufman allegedly Ponomarev. - For your sake, we will remove the glove. "
A few days before this conversation on the St. Petersburg Centre completed an inventory of sites. The Moscow office finally learned that lease capacity comparable to the capacity of the Central CHP St. Peerburga and grabbed his head.

Kaufman acted decisively. He called the engineer Staffan Germanssona, which, as he said later, the media was on vacation in Turkey, and asked for a day to turn off all the generators Ponomarev on the "Mega-Parnas" (supposed to Dybenko, which is already fed by "Lenenergo" networks, they disabled). June 28 "IKEA MOS" has signed a contract with another company, supplying generators, "Tetra-Electric". Her technique had a day to dismantle the equipment and reconnect Ponomareva "Mega-Parnas" to their DES.

Manual "IKEA Mos" wanted to stop cooperation with ISM and SAE, companies Ponomarev. In the second half of the year the Swedes stopped paying advances. But Ponomariov did not agree to terminate the lease agreement (the text of the agreement to complete the connection to the two shopping centers "Lenenergo" networks make it was impossible).

Versions of further developments in the conflicting parties differ diametrically. According to the "IKEA Mos" lawyers, by 1 July 2008, all generators EPS at both sites weredisconnected and transported to distant sites. Ponomarev says that the protection of "Mega" center kicked his technique with the object, but do not use generators stopped because "Tetra 'capacity to supply the" Parnassus "is not enough.

As evidence, he cites available to him in writing bans on access to the object, court decisions and materials "IKEA Mos" litigation with tax authorities, which refused to reimburse the company almost billion VAT. According to Ponomarev, the court representatives "IKEA Mos" insisted that the generators are used extensively for business, and not idle. Another proof - Per Kaufmann letter addressed to the then Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, dated April 2009, to intervene in the situation: "O scheme has been set up from IKEA huge cash. Payments on two generators leases began to absorb the entire IKEA profit not only in St. Petersburg, but also in Russia as a whole. "

Among other things, the letter stated that the shopping malls & laquo; Mega "are still dependent on generators supply, some of which are leased from IMS. What is meant? "The exact answer to this question can only give the author a letter, - says John Rasmussen. - I can only confirm that the specified time IKEA was trying to achieve connectivity "Lenenergo". Interestingly, Kaufman, he signed several ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS Ponomarev, he says that the company was trying to get the police to investigate the behavior of those involved in the conclusion of lease agreements.

So disconnected generators Ponomarev or not? Semen Shevchenko back shows archival footage Google satellites, which can be seen as white generators, which stood on the perimeter of the shopping center on Dybenko, transported to a distant parking lot. Photographs of the same generators accumulation places to eat and "Parnassus", the second mall.


In 2009 he started a real war, and until 2010 it looked as if IKEA can win it outright. By this time the "Mega" network consisted of 11 shopping malls. Behind the "IKEA Mos & raquo; was victorious confrontation with the mayor of Khimki, Vladimir Strelchenko, which assures Dahlgren, was categorically against the opening of "Mega", but he had to give. It has been established good relations with the governor of the Moscow region. Ingvar Kamprad, arriving in Russia, talks with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov. IKEA - one of the largest and most prominent foreign investors in the country.

As urged by the Swedes? In 2009, the expired lease agreements, and Konstantin Ponomarev, who passed all requirements of law and all the generators from the company IMS company "EPS", has become in every way to evade the export of equipment. After many trials in May 2010 recognized the correctness of the revocation of the Swedish company, and Ponomarev took generators.
What does a Russian businessman? He really needed it 112 generators, but the staff of shopping centers "Mega" did not give them, because it ordered him IKEA leadership in Moscow and because DES were used until 2010. To confirm his words, he brings some letters, signed by the engineers, additional agreement of the possible purchase of the IKEA neratorov and extend until the lease agreements with all the obligations signed by the project manager Joachim Virtanen. These documents are in the "IKEA Mos" believe or falsified, or the work of unscrupulous managers. "Of course, I do not bribed IKEA employees - said Ponomarev. - I think that ... IKEA manual misleading IKEA owners, trying to hide their commercial failures loud phrases about corruption, forgery and fraud. "

The courts of different instances considered several dozen lawsuits opposing sides to each other.

But in the spring of 2010, the global IKEA was hit.

Swedish newspaper Expressen published materials from which it followed that the top management of "IKEA Mos" endorsed the intention of the contractor to pay a bribe in order to connect, finally, "Mega-Parnas" to the network. It tramples all principles of the company. Per Kaufmann, Stefan Gross and other tops were immediately dismissed.

In the summer of 2010, after waiting a couple of months after the removal of its generators, Konstantin Ponomarev filed a lawsuit for the recovery of the Swedish company 16 mpg rubles (in the updated version of RUR 18 billion) of debt in two generators leases. 9 billion rubles were in arrears of rent, the rest - a commercial loan and borrowed funds.

The claim that has never been considered by the courts on the merits. IKEA has decided to pay. Negotiations were many months, and 22 November 2010 to 25 billion rubles were transferred to the accounts of the company Konstantin Ponomarev. "SAE acknowledges and confirms that there are no requirements for the" IKEA Mos "in relation to rents, fines, penalties, penalties ... and any other requirements", - stated in the section "Recognition and validation."

"When measured in money ..."

The story might have ended. Many of its characters do not work in the "IKEA Mos". For example, Ulf Pettersson, signs the leases and additional agreement, went to Istanbul and manages development and construction projects in Turkey Amstar Group. In his biography on the company's website says that he was responsible for the launch of 11 malls "Mega".
Konstantin Ponomarev, it seems, could celebrate the UEfood. "If you measure everything in money, then yes, it is a success," - he admits.

"Yes, the amount recorded in the settlement agreement, really big - recognizes John Rasmussen. - That the sum of the size of the payment is due mainly to the fact that the lease agreements were concluded at an extremely unfavorable for the "IKEA Mos" conditions. "IKEA Mos" is also considered that the continuation of the high-profile litigation may damage the company's reputation and cause a negative reaction from its customers. Participation in controversial trials did not comply with our policies. "
But the quiet life did not last long. In 2013, the company owned by Ponomarev "RUKON" again filed a lawsuit against "IKEA Mos" with the requirement to recover from its debt of 33 billion rubles. It is a payment for generators in 2009-2010, when they actually were in the "Meg". Ponomarev says that the ceded claims "RUKON" before signing the "IKEA Mos" and its companies IMS and EPS agreement on dispute settlement, so these claims are not logged in. Ponomarev was ready toKeys to their agreement, and then with the discount amount would have increased by only 6 billion rubles, but the IKEA management allegedly did not want to, but for the sake of PR-effect John Rasmussen Ponomarev asked about the remaining unresolved disputes about 2009-2010 does not mention.

"No, I am, of course, nothing of the sort offered! - Outraged Rasmussen. - Moreover, we have emphasized many times that the settlement agreement covers all preceding and all the potential requirements for any period of time, including the period of 2009-2010. " This is also stated in court under oath Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov, who participated in the agreements as a mediator. The courts of first and second instance have rejected the "RUKON" requirements, but Konstantin Ponomarev full of optimism and is preparing a cassation.

As he himself explains to his action? "You know, IKEA - they are extremely arrogant, - Ponomarev said thoughtfully, leaning on the chair. - In the summer of 2008, they could pay me 5 billion rubles and 2.5 billion rubles, even if asked to terminate the contracts andorgovalis. I would probably agree. But they threatened to put me in jail, citing his greatness and communication. After three years, we paid 25 billion rubles. Who should be 36 billion rubles. Their debt is growing at a rate of 0.1% per day. "

PS 25 February 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region, after hearing the arguments of the lawyer Ltd. "RUKON" of Konstantin Ponomarev, and a representative of the defendant - LLC "IKEA Mos", upheld the earlier handed down in the case of the decision of the Arbitration Court of Moscow and 9th Appeal Arbitration court.