Vladimir Yevtushenkov is ashamed to make money on VIP-guests

The hotel chain Cosmos Hotel Group of the main owner of AFK Sistema Vladimir Yevtushenkov announces expansion, while the business does not bring big profit to the billionaire.
Origin source
By the end of 2022, AFK Sistema intends to open 10 new hotels with 4 thousand rooms with a total area of ​​more than 200 thousand m2. Most of the new hotels will appear as a result of the redevelopment of automatic telephone exchanges owned by AFK Sistema. So, a 245-room hotel in Moscow will be located on the site of the Communications House on Novy Arbat, in the building of the former MGTS telephone exchange. New hotels will open in St. Petersburg and Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don and Stavropol, Yekaterinburg and Omsk. In Karelia, Yevtushenkov already has the Cosmos Petrozavodsk hotel with 103 rooms under its own brand, another 60-room hotel is being built in Segezha. If the plans are implemented, Cosmos Hotel Group will manage a network of 8 thousand rooms and will be one of the largest hotel operators.

18 Cosmos Hotel Group hotels

Cosmos (near VDNKh, 1777 rooms), Holiday Inn Express Moscow - Paveletskaya (243 rooms), Intourist Kolomenskoye (259 rooms), Cosmos Petrozavodsk (103 rooms), Park Inn by Radisson Astrakhan (132 rooms), Park Inn by Radisson Volgograd (149 rooms), Holiday Inn Express Voronezh - Kirova (145 rooms), Park Inn by Radisson Izhevsk (161 rooms), Park Inn by Radisson Kazan (151 rooms), Park Inn by Radisson Sochi (153 rooms), Emerald Forest, Moscow Region (22 rooms, 6 cottages, 9 duplexes), Park Inn by Radisson Novosibirsk (150 rooms), Altai Resort (78 rooms in 19 cottages, 60 rooms in the new hotel), Shuyskaya Chupa, Karelia (4 cottages, cottage Duplex, main house), Park Inn by Radisson Yaroslavl (167 rooms), Principe Forte Dei Marmi, Italy (28 rooms), Savoy Westend Hotel, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic (115 rooms), Leopard Lodge, Namibia (17 rooms expected to open , under reconstruction).

Yevtushenkov has a dream - to grow his own hotel brand. In the future, he wants to abandon the international brands Holiday Inn, Park Inn and Marriott, which operate the Cosmos Hotel Group. Hotel in Petrozavodsk is the first step in this direction. However, the company question “Ko” about the prospects of the new brand was left unanswered.

The owner of Ivashkevich Hospitality Stanislav Ivashkevich considers Cosmos Hotel Group to be the benchmark of a domestic management company: “She has five-star hotels in Forte dei Marmi, Savoy, Leopard, there are Cosmos and regional hotels operating under international brands. If the main shareholder does not refuse the services of international management companies and change personnel every year, everything will be fine. ”

According to PwC, at the beginning of 2019 in Russia there were 511 hotels managed by network operators, with a total number of rooms in 86.7 thousand rooms. Among the operators there were 35 domestic and 22 international network companies. Russian networks accounted for 61% of the market supply. The main Russian network players are Velvet Seasons (17% in domestic chains), Azimut Hotels (12%), GOST Hotel Management (9%) and Amaks Hotels & Resorts (6%). The largest international players: AccorHotels (19% in international chains), Radisson Hotel Group (17%), Marriott International (14%), IHG (13%), Hilton Worldwide (11%).

Deal with the son of the ex-head of Russian Railways

In the fall of 2016, Sistema Hotel Management LLC (part of Sistema JSFC) purchased nine regional hotel chain hotels with 1379 rooms from Venture Investments & Yield Management LLP (VIYM) Andrey Yakunin and Yair Ziv. After the transaction with VIYM, the hotel fund of AFK Sistema increased to 3663 rooms due to Courtyard by Marriott in Moscow, the Holiday Inn Express in Voronezh and seven hotels under the Park Inn brand in Astrakhan, Volgograd, Izhevsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Sochi and Yaroslavl. Later, a new hotel management company, Cosmos Hotel Group, was established, its legal entity is Cosmos OG LLC.

The Cosmos Hotel Group also transferred hotels under the control of another company of AFK Sistema - VAO Intourist. We are talking about the five-star Savoy Westend Hotel in Karlovy Vary and the Principe Forte Dei Marmi in Tuscany, as well as the Cosmos Hotel, the largest in the network (there are 1770 rooms in Cosmos). The Cosmos Hotel Group has a total of 17 hotels, including the Leopard Lodge in Namibia.

Most hotels of Cosmos OG LLC in 2018 were unprofitable, according to the average load was 62.5%. The loss is due to the purchase of hotels from VIYM.

The main profit in this group of hotels is brought by Cosmos and Savoy. But the Cosmos, built for the 1980 Olympics, was never repaired, plans for renovation were announced only at the end of last year. According to Alexander Gendelsman, partner of the ZONT Hotel Group, repairs will not be cheap - from 2.5 to 4 billion rubles. This amount consists of calculating the cost of repairing the number of rooms (1-2 million rubles per room), common areas and infrastructure.

VIP guests of Vladimir Yevtushenkov

“The hotels of the group, which are not managed by international companies, are more like toys of the main shareholder, and there is no need to talk about profit,” a former employee of Intourist tells Ko. Vladimir Yevtushenkov lives at Leopard Lodge in Namibia when he hunts antelopes in the company of friends, including Yuri Trutnev, the plenipotentiary representative in the Far Eastern Federal District. The Shuy Chupa, the Emerald Forest, the Italian Principe at Forte dei Marmi and Altai Resort also for the most part serve as the "distant summer cottages" of the businessman.

However, the profitability of these hotels can be calculated differently. Altai Resort occasionally hosts government delegations. So, in the summer of 2019, Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, held a round table here. But Sberbank, VTB, Gazprom and other companies have organized their business events at the hotel more than once.

By the way, the head of Sberbank, German Gref, was here. By the way, Gref was among the first to intercede for the founder of AFK Sistema when in 2014 he was accused of money laundering when buying shares of Bashneft. As Co found out, in 2015 Sberbank leased business jets from Vladimir Air Group's Jet Air Group for 56 million rubles.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin visited not only in Altai, but also in the Emerald Forest near Moscow.

The founder of AFK Sistema with Sergey Sobyanin had the same warm relationship as with his predecessor, Yuri Luzhkov. In just five years, Jet Air Group has received orders for 1 billion rubles, the share of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow is 900 million rubles.

Jet Air Group's fleet consists of Embraer Legacy 600, Gulfstream G550 and Hawker BAE-125-700 and is based in Sheremetyevo. These luxurious private jets were used by the City Hall not only in domestic but also in international destinations. Jet Air Group was and remains the only provider of services for the leadership of the Moscow government this year. At Jet Air itself, it was not possible to quickly answer the question of Ko about the cost of flights. From available sources it follows that business jet flights are about 15 times more expensive than regular flights. So, fly to the Embraer Legacy 600 from Moscow to Zurich costs 18 thousand euros, with a full load (13 seats) one ticket will cost 1390 euros.

The current head of Cosmos Hotel Group, Alexander Schwein, was the general director of Altai Resort. Perhaps the success of this hotel among large companies and officials was the reason for the appointment of Schwein as the head of the management company of all hotels of AFK Sistema. Altai Resort itself ended 2018 with a loss of 325 million rubles., VAO Intourist contributed 699 million rubles. in his registered capital. Intourist allocated $ 430,000 in assistance to Leopard in Namibia. The Cosmos Hotel Group itself declined to comment.

Yevtushenkov and staff

“Although the entire hotel business brings AFK Sistema less than a percent of the revenue, Vladimir Petrovich personally makes key decisions - chooses places for hotels, monitors key personnel,” a source close to the company shares with Ko. Some people once hit the market and are still being discussed. So, in 2012-2013, the Cosmos Hotel was now run by the late Arnold Spivakovsky, the former husband of singer Lolita. In 2002-2003, Spivakovsky was suspected of distributing cocaine to the Dolls nightclub strippers, and in 2017 was detained in Spain in the case of the “Russian mafia”, accused of laundering 30 million euros through the Marbella football club. Spivakovsky remained in AFK Sistema until the end, despite the criminal cases. Recently, he worked as vice president of Segezha Group for personnel and security.

One of the general directors of Cosmos in 2014, Laert Karaashev, worked there for only 11 days, and then for some time was Deputy Head of Asset Management at VIY Management LLP Yakunin Jr. In total, in 2014 AFK Sistema replaced four general directors of the Cosmos Hotel. A similar situation was in VAO Intourist.

The next ex-general director of the Cosmos Hotel, Giordano Borri, was in this position for 6 months and notes that “the biggest problem was a too frequent change of plans and tasks if they (AFK Sistema - approx.“ Ko ”) did not change their attitude to the hotel business They won’t go anywhere. The fact is that AFC has too many interests, and hotels are always the last in line. ”