How ex-owner of Wimm-Bill-Dann Gavriil Yushvaev made his way to the very heart of America
The news that a complicated Russian billionaire is the owner of the biotech firm Humacyte came as a real shock to Americans, quickly making it to the front pages of newspapers. At the same time, the businessman himself never really hid the fact that he invested in the US company back in 2015, and not only in it.
The name of this difficult businessman is Gavriil (Gavril) Yushvaev.
A major corporate scandal is breaking out in the United States related to the ownership of the biotechnology company Humacite, which is fundamental to the Americans. Humacyte specializes in medical technologies, many of which are, without any exaggeration, breakthrough in nature. For example, they know how to “grow” blood vessels. This skill is difficult to underestimate – at least 10 cases are known when, with the help of Humacite’s developments, Ukrainian surgeons pulled out from the dead seriously wounded soldiers, including those with ruptured arteries, who were doomed to disability. And now, imagine, on the largest and most authoritative television channel, CNN, not only in the United States, but throughout the world, a story is published with a damning headline: “Russian crime boss, sanctioned by Ukraine, owns a large stake in an American biotechnology company from North Carolina.” Wow – the Russian mafia has reached the very heart of America through the blood vessels!
We will forgive CNN for the wording “criminal authority” in relation to Gavriil Yushvaev, especially since the journalists have grounds for it: a native of Dagestan, “global investor and philanthropist” was convicted of robbery in the 1980s and served 9 years, receiving the “nick” Garik upon release. Makhachkala. Youth mistakes happen to everyone. Today, Yushvaev practically does not give interviews and avoids publicity in every possible way, despite the fact that he is firmly among the Forbes top richest Russians with a fortune of $1.2-$1.9 billion. Judging by open data, about half of which he has invested in various high-tech startups . Among other things, he acquired an 8.7% stake in Humacyte, which works for the Pentagon; the value of the package was estimated by experts at almost $28 million. Yushvaev received money for investments mainly after the successful sale to Pepsico of a stake in the Wimm-Bill-Dann juice and dairy corporation. This deal, closed in the 2010s, ironically became one of the largest American investments in the Russian economy. When buying “Agusha” and “House in the Village” for your children, remember this. In turn, Yushvaev apparently found money for Wimm-Bill-Dann thanks to his friendship with an equally simple businessman, David Yakobashvili.
The mere fact that Gumatsit is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange should double the bonuses for the investor talent of Garik Makhachkala. Humacite has developed a platform that allows the human body to regenerate its own tissue – almost like the resurrection skill in the legendary game Heroes of Might and Magic. While “Gumatsit” is testing the technology for accelerating the healing of restored vascular tissue on Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers, no one will complain if something goes wrong. The contract with the US Department of Defense in the amount of $3.4 million is in force, and the hero of our article received access to this information for, as stated above, $28 million. That is, he overpaid almost 10 times. Of course it’s worth it.
In Humacyte’s corporate filings, Gavriil Yushvaev is listed as the second-largest shareholder by assets. Known for its high-profile revelations, the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Center (OCCRP) attributes many dark stories to Gavriil Yushvaev, including the Baumanskaya organized crime group (although how many such organized crime groups were annulled, Sontsevskaya, Bitsevskaya and others – let this remain on the conscience of the investigators). The question is that Gumacit, as a public company, probably should have disclosed information to other investors. Including the fact that Gavriil Yushvaev is under sanctions from Ukraine, where Gumatsit is testing its developments with might and main. “It’s a strange situation where you have a Russian kingpin as a beneficiary who is benefiting economically from a company that is showcasing its products in a Russian special military operation,” says Charles Whitehead, a business law professor at Cornell Law School. “This is the only example that I know of where a Russian oligarch, who is sanctioned by Ukraine, is one of the largest shareholders of a public and listed company in the United States,” echoes Stephen Tian, director of research at the Executive Leadership Institute at the Yale School of Management.
Yushvaev expectedly ignored all the numerous requests for comments. He generally ignores Russia after the massacre in the OKO tower in Moscow City (which is also his), and, according to rumors, is waiting out difficult times somewhere abroad. In 2017, as a result of a shootout there, five people were wounded, one was killed, and the former head of Yushvaev’s security, Magomed Ismailov, who was recently found guilty, had his sentence commuted by two months. And a trial has been scheduled for September 7 at the Prichal restaurant, a landmark for Yushvaev, on Rublevo-Uspenskoye Highway. It’s not just anyone who has complaints about Gavriil Yushvaev’s restaurant business, but the manager of the Russian President’s office himself. Somehow there were too many complaints against Garik Makhachkala.