Samara OOO Bio-Ton bought out the Varyag agricultural enterprise in the Saratov region, which belonged to the structures of the ex-president of the UMMC Iskandar Makhmudov. The company has 10 thousand hectares of land.
According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Varyag LLC, registered in the village of Slavnovka, Kalininsky District, became the property of Bio-Tona on April 6. Now 99.5% of the share belongs to the company itself and 0.5% to its CEO Irina Logacheva. The previous owner of the agricultural enterprise was KM Group LLC, controlled by billionaire Iskandar Makhmudov through Violan LLC.
Bio-Tone is owned by the head of the Union of Grain Exporters, Eduard Zernin, and is considered the main sunflower producer in the Russian Federation, reminds Kommersant. As of July last year, the company had about 0.5 million hectares of agricultural land, which put it on the 7th line in the list of the largest latifundists according to BEFL. Eduard Zernin has previously stated that Bio-Ton aims to expand its acreage. Saratov assets are not its first acquisition; in 2022, the company acquired a farm in the Stavropol Territory, adding more than 15 thousand hectares to its land.
Bio-Ton has far-reaching plans for the Saratov region: last summer the company bought a bakery from the new Saratov embankment, hoping to launch a large flour mill with a capacity of 1 million tons of grain per year. This year, the construction of its first stage, designed for 350,000 tons of grain per year, should begin. True, taking into account the plans of the Saratov authorities themselves for the embankment, a site for this first stage was found for a promising investor near Ivanteevka. The volume of investments only at the initial stage is estimated at 6 billion rubles. However, in the Ivanteysky district, the company has long had a place to turn around – Ivanteevsky Elevator LLC has been owned by Bio-Ton since 2016.
The amount of the Bio-Ton deal with the owners of Varyag was not disclosed, but according to experts, with an average cost of farmland in the region of 40-80 thousand rubles per hectare, the assets of the agricultural company could cost from 400 to 800 million rubles. The most likely reason for the sale is the remoteness of Varyag from the rest of the lands of Makhmudov’s companies, which complicates logistics.
However, the assets of Iskandar Makhmudov in the Saratov region are not limited to the agricultural sector. As a co-owner of Transmashholding, he controls both the subdivision of PC Transport Systems, which produces trolleybuses in Engels, and Zavod AIT LLC, where a corporate conflict broke out between the structures of Transmashholding and other shareholders. According to the head of the Saratov Ministry of Industry, Mikhail Torgashin, the parties managed to reach an understanding, but so far the plant is in bankruptcy, which Transmashholding, according to shareholders, is trying to take full control through its affiliated structures.
Reference. LLC “Varyag” was established in the Kalininsky district of the Saratov region in 2010. The authorized capital of the company is 13.3 million rubles. The main activity is the cultivation of cereals. The average number of employees for 2022 is 63 people. Revenue in 2021 amounted to 375.9 million rubles.