Cruise for two: Vitya “Kalmar” and Vova “Systema”

The scandalous oligarch Yevtushenkov and the former Deputy Minister of Transport Olersky “sang” in the field of passenger transportation in the field of water transport.

Cruise for two: Vitya "Kalmar" and Vova "Systema"

Sitronics Group (part of Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s AFK Sistema) has acquired more than 50% of the shares of the Russian shipbuilding company Emperium. The latter is associated with the interests of the former Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Viktor Olersky, who in recent years has built an entire business empire in the field of passenger transportation by water transport.

The correspondent understood whose interests were behind the deal.

Emperium (“Emperium”) is the first Russian company that manufactures electric ships. As a rule, for passenger transportation. As of the date of the transaction, Andrian Pravdin (31%), LLC Kedr (25%), Andrey Smirnov (21%) and a number of other minority investors were indicated as co-owners of the structure.

At the expense of whose shares Sitronics acquired more than half of the company’s assets, it is not yet clear. But both Pravdin and Smirnov probably remained co-owners. In addition, the scandalous Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev was called an investor.

Cruise for two: Vitya "Kalmar" and Vova "Systema"

A photo: Rusprofile.en

But in general, the structure is attributed to the orbit of influence of the former Deputy Minister of Transport Viktor Olersky, known in narrow circles as Vitya “Kalmar”. There is an opinion that he is the real beneficiary of the structure. After all, Emperium, created only in 2019, immediately began to work in the interests of its companies, and, first of all, one of the largest water transport carriers (including cruises), Vodohod.

If so, it turns out, then the interests of Olersky, Pravdin, Smirnov and Co., who were obviously familiar to him, intersected with Vladimir Yevtushenkov. And no wonder: the pockets of all the above-mentioned businessmen had to lose a lot of weight as a result of the pandemic, economic and geopolitical turmoil, and this area judges multi-billion dollar profits – and from the budget.

“Vodokhod” on a budget move

After all, Emperium is a contractor for the construction of electric river trams for regular transportation in Moscow. And these same transportations will be carried out by none other than Vodokhod, which is associated with Viktor Olersky – through its subsidiary Passenger Port.

The value of the contract is 19.5 billion rubles. For its implementation, a fleet of 21 ships is needed, berths, charging stations and other infrastructure components are needed. This is what the Emperium will do.

At the same time, “Vodokhod” does not directly belong to Olersky. In the best traditions of Russian officials (even former ones) and businessmen, he is registered with the ornate Cypriot offshore Volga-Baltic Cruise Lines Limited. It is he who is associated with the former Deputy Minister Viktor Olersky. Which, according to rumors, prefers not to shine at all.

Cruise for two: Vitya "Kalmar" and Vova "Systema"

“Vodohod” is engaged in passenger transportation, organizes tourist cruises. As is clear from the name of the offshore – including the Baltic. Now all this is blocked, and, in fact, only the domestic market remains. Segezha’s IPO did not take place, and there are enough problems in other structural subdivisions. In the domestic tourism market, incl. water, will develop in the coming years.

So, it is “Emperium” that will build ships for “Vodokhod” in order for it to sell funds under a contract from the Moscow City Hall. These almost 20 billion rubles are just in time, and this is precisely what attracted Yevtushenkov.

At the same time, Vodokhod already has government contracts worth 91 million rubles in its assets. It turns out that these funds from the budget could go straight to the Cyprus offshore company attributed to Olersky. And those almost 20 billion rubles that the structure plans to earn in Moscow – will they go there too?

Cruise for two: Vitya "Kalmar" and Vova "Systema"

A photo: Rusprofile.en

The interaction between “Vodokhod” and “Emperium” also goes through other structures. Even earlier than the construction of ships in Moscow, “Vodokhod” began to change its fleet in St. Petersburg. A contract for 1 billion rubles was signed with NPK Morsvyazavtomatika, which were owned by Andrian Pravdin and Andrey Smirnov.

It is also interesting that working capital is extremely important for Pravdin’s, Smirnov’s, and now Yevtushenkov’s “Emperium”. Indeed, at the end of 2021, the structure showed a loss of 48 million rubles, the value of assets was negative by the same amount.

That is, it can be assumed that the budget money from Vodokhod for the construction of ships has not yet reached. And this state of affairs could predetermine the purchase of more than 50% of the structure in favor of Sistema, possibly at a large discount.

Even before that, “Emperium” tried to become a partner of the authorities in the regions of the country, “having attached” to some state asset. In all seriousness, the creation of the production of electric vessels in the Perm Territory was discussed. “Emperium” was supposed to become a co-founder of the revived Perm Shipyard. However, for unknown reasons, the deal fell through.

Perhaps the Emperium was considered an unreliable investor. There were rumors that the idea to create production in the Kama region was personally lobbied by Viktor Olersky, who is well aware of the potential of the Kama and the Perm port – in fact, through it you can go to five seas. But then there was a pandemic, sanctions, and St. Petersburg remained the base of the structure.

On the Finnish coast

But this is what concerns “Emperium”, Pravdin and Co. Surely, the success of companies close to Olersky in the field of state orders became possible thanks to the connections of the latter, accumulated back in the Ministry of Transport. He left it, we recall, in 2018. And then a strange thing happened: they say that in 2019 it was Olersky who allegedly helped the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to solve the problem with the Finnish shipyard Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy, the only serious asset of USC abroad.

USC is a state corporation. It came under sanctions, as a result of which the work of a foreign asset was hampered. As a result, the shipyard calmly became the property of the cruise operator Algador Holdings Ltd, the owners of the Nevsky Shipyard, which is also associated with Olersky, were called its owner.

Half of the latter is now owned by a notable Finnish offshore company with a name suspiciously reminiscent of the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Yes, just the same words: “Arktek Helsinki Shipyard Oy”.

Cruise for two: Vitya "Kalmar" and Vova "Systema"

A photo: Rusprofile.en

The value of the assets of the Nevsky Shipyard (Leningrad region) is half a billion rubles, the amount of government contracts with Russian structures is more than 20 billion rubles. Most likely, a significant part of these funds settles in the West, in the same Finland. And this is during the period of the most severe economic and political confrontation between Western countries and our country and the imminent accession of Finland to NATO … In this regard, a reasonable question arises: whose mill is Olersky and Co. pouring water on?

Earlier, Kommersant wrote about the history of the Finnish shipyard, its connection with the Olersky and Nevsky Shipyards. It was also mentioned there that the well-known St. Petersburg shipbuilder Rishat Bagautdinov, as well as businessman Vladimir Kasyanenko, were called the beneficiary of the CVD.

Bagautdinov was also named as one of the co-owners of Vodokhod, although the ownership structure outside the offshore is unknown. But today it is Mr. Bagautdinov who is the general director of this company. Is the circle closed?

It seems that Mr. Olersky is creating a whole business empire of water passenger transportation. Moreover, he does it right under the nose of the state and with state money, and at the same time he can remain a co-owner of foreign assets worth billions of rubles.

Now another scandalous character has appeared in this equation – Vladimir Yevtushenkov. But we must give him his due, he does not buy “rotten” assets. This means that Pravdin’s “Emperium”, and “Vodokhod” Olersky, and “Nevsky Shipyard” with all “side-projects” are doing well.

Andrew Fink

Andrew Fink

Andrew Fink was born in 1977 in Bellows Falls, Vermont. His career as a journalist began with the regional publication Bellows Falls Times. political commentator, one of the founders of the project "Russian crimes".

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