Hyperloop without Magomedov
The owner of Suma Ziyavudin Magomedov left the board of directors of Virgin Hyperloop One, which is developing a vacuum high-speed transport project, according to the information on the transport company's website.
This happened after the businessman and his brother Magomed were arrested on suspicion of establishing or participating in a criminal community (Part 1, Article 210 of the Criminal Code), fraud (Part 4, Article 159 of the Criminal Code), as well as embezzlement (Part 4 160 CC). Both deny all charges, on May 28 the Tverskoi court extended their arrest until August 5. Magomedov left the board of directors of Virgin Hyperloop One shortly after this arrest, told his friend.
The representative of Suma refused to specify the details, forwarding the questions to Virgin Hyperloop One. Her representative has not yet responded to the request of RBC.
$ 295 million in a loop
The project Hyperloop came up with the head of SpaceX Ilon Mask, but did not implement it, but laid out in open access calculations for the creation of a transport system consisting of steel pipes, inside which a train can travel at a speed of 1200 km / h in the form of a sealed capsule on an air bag.
The project was interested in, in particular, the startup Hyperloop One, which began to develop it in 2014. The main investor of the startup was Shervin Pishevar, then he was joined by the Caspian Venture Capital Magomedov Fund, the world's largest port operator DP World, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Virgin Group Richard Branson. The cost of Virgin Hyperloop One for the round of financing ($ 85 million), held in September 2017, exceeded $ 700 million, reported the publication Recode. In total, investors have already invested $ 295 million in the company.
In May 2017, Virgin Hyperloop One conducted the first test on the test section of the DevLoop track in a suburb of Las Vegas. During the tests, the trolley showed a top speed of 112.6 km / h. The second phase of the tests assumes the acceleration of the trolley to 402 km / h.
The company showed the first prototype of a universal capsule, which will move on a cart inside the pipe. In February 2018, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the signing of an agreement with the Indian authorities, within which it is planned to build a test route between the cities of Pune and Mumbai in the next three years. It is assumed that on it the capsule will be able to travel from one city to another in 25 minutes, the passenger traffic will amount to 150 million passengers per year. Magomedov said in an interview with RBC in October 2017 that the cost of travel to Hyperloop would be "cheaper" than existing modes of passenger transportation.
Magomedov joined the board of directors of Hyperloop One in the fall of 2016. Its venture fund Caspian Venture Capital has invested about $ 100 million in the project. Participation in the board of directors of Virgin Hyperloop One allows Summa to "coordinate and monitor Hyperloop's policy for implementing the project in other countries," the group's spokesman said earlier. The current board of directors, consisting of eight people, was retained by the director of Caspian VC Bill Shor.
In October 2017, the British billionaire and owner of the group Virgin Richard Branson entered the project (the amount of his investments was not disclosed), after which the company was renamed to Virgin Hyperloop One. And in December, Branson led its board of directors. "After last summer I visited the Hyperloop One test site in Nevada (USA) and met with the team, I was convinced that the advanced Hyperloop One technology and its high-end team will undoubtedly change the transportation industry," the businessman said then. The co-founder and president for the design of Virgin Hyperloop One Josh Gigel said that the expertise of the two companies will speed up the commercialization of the project.
The representative of Virgin has not yet answered the question about Magomedov's withdrawal from the council. RBC also sent requests to two other investors of the project - DP World and RFPI.
The exit of a businessman from the board of directors of Virgin Hyperloop One, most likely, is connected with an attempt to minimize image and reputation losses from his arrest for the company, says Timur Khutov, the head of the criminal practice of the law firm BMS Law Firm. This could lead to the sale of Caspian VC's stake in the company in order to remove the legal link between Magomedov and the company, he admits. The representative of Suma does not comment on the possibility of selling a stake in Virgin Hyperloop One.
Arrests and resignations
The criminal prosecution of Magomedov negatively affected the business of Suma in Russia. Immediately after the arrest, it became known that the group lost the deal to sell Transneft 25% stake in the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP). "Everything was ready for us, all materials were agreed upon. But life is life, circumstances demanded a brake, "- said the head of Transneft, Nikolai Tokarev. He stressed that the state company does not refuse the deal.
On June 5 NCSP Board of Directors recommended not to pay dividends for 2017 due to criminal prosecution of its shareholder "due to the presence of restrictions on the payment of dividends related to injunctions in the distribution of profits."
In mid-June it became known that as part of the investigation of the criminal case, the Preobrazhensky Court of Moscow arrested the shares of 13 companies, owned by the "Sum" group. The arrest is imposed, in particular, on the securities of the Far Eastern Shipping Company (the parent company of the FESCO transport group) and Portoflota. The shares of the Yakutsk Fuel and Energy Company (YATEK), the Podolsky Electromechanical Plant and the United Grain Company, which also belong to Summa, appeared under arrest, TASS reported on June 26 referring to a source in law enforcement agencies.
In May, the first deputy general director of Suma Alexander Panchenko resigned. In the group, he oversaw TransContainer (Sumy owns 25.07% of the operator, and it was one of the main contenders for the Russian Railways package, which is 50.2%). "As you know, the government decided to postpone the sale of the operator's package, scheduled for 2018. Taking into account the existing circumstances, the management of Suma decided to suspend development projects and optimize the structure so far, "explained the manager of RBC. After that it became known that "Sum" can sell its stake in "Transcontainer".