Businessman Vladimir Malin submitted a single application for the acquisition of the property of the Kaliningrad distillery “Itar”. This follows from the auction protocol published on the website of the Unified Federal Center for Information on Bankruptcy. He agreed to pay for the lot, which included land plots, industrial buildings, equipment for the production of alcohol and trademarks (Spray Baltika, Steam Locomotive, Constant Ultra and Vodka Vozdushnaya), 402.6 million rubles, which corresponds to the starting price. In 2021, this plant was declared insolvent, bankruptcy proceedings began against the company.
Despite the fact that the auction itself was declared invalid, it follows from the lot documentation that a purchase and sale agreement can be concluded with its only participant. It was not possible to contact Malin. Itar bankruptcy trustee Valery Kubelun told Vedomosti that an agreement had not yet been signed with him.
Itar is one of the oldest alcohol and vodka enterprises in the Kaliningrad region. It was created back in 1995 and, together with the West Alco wine and vodka factory (declared bankrupt in 2020), was part of the Vestalka commercial and industrial group, which was initially controlled by the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Kaliningrad Region Konstantin Suslov . Now the owner of Itar, according to SPARK-Interfax, is Alexander Suslov. RBC previously reported that this is the brother of Konstantin Suslov.
Vladimir Malin since the late 1980s. worked at the All-Union Research Market Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of the USSR. Since the mid-1990s, he has been a business partner of the former head of the presidential administration, Alexander Voloshin. In 2000, Malin was appointed chairman of the Russian Federal Property Fund, he was a member of the boards of directors of such companies as Gazprom, LUKOIL, Svyazinvest, and others. In 2004, a criminal case was initiated against him for the theft of 20% of the shares of OJSC Apatit and commercial bribery, the Kommersant newspaper wrote. As a result, a year later he was found guilty, he was sentenced to four years of probation and banned from holding positions in state structures for three years. According to SPARK-Interfax, Malin now owns a stake in Reo-Development LLC, which leases commercial premises on Ostozhenka, in the center of Moscow. The co-owners of this company are Voloshin, as well as the former head of the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending (now DOM.RF) Alexander Semenyaka.
What Malin plans to do with Itar is not known. Vadim Drobiz, director of the Center for Research on Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets, notes that for many years this plant has been one of the most serious producers of vodka, primarily for the local market, and secondly, for the purpose of exporting abroad. But today, due to the political situation, there is simply nowhere to export such products, adds Stanislav Kaufman, owner of the Kaufman branding agency. In this regard, he believes that the company could attract an investor with its price. However, he admits that Malin can start bottling already well-known vodka brands there. In the current realities, it makes no sense to produce cheap vodka at such an enterprise, which means that the project will most likely be associated with the production (or export) of alcoholic beverages in the premium segment, sums up Drobiz.