Alcoholic importer Ladoga (produces vodka “Tsarskaya,” “Imperial Collection,” etc.) Veniamin Grabara is going to go on IPO in 2025. Just the other day, she became the exclusive distributor of the Porto Cruz brand, which has not been officially present in Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism) for the past two years.
It is possible that due to, among other things, the acquired “monopoly” on the supply of Porto Cruz, the company expects to strengthen its position in the IPO. At the same time, investing in Ladoga may not be at all as profitable as it seems at first glance.
Details – in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.
And we forgot taxes!
In 2017, the tax court obtained the arrest of Grabar’s property on the debts of the predecessor of the Ladoga Group, PG Ladoga. Recall that the company went bankrupt with debts of 1.19 billion rubles to the Federal Tax Service.
The Federal Tax Service then stated that Grabar and his colleague Andrei Kuporosov control Ladoga through foreign companies. As a result, the court imposed a “veto” on the use of property worth 3.5 billion rubles! About this was the amount of total debt owed to creditors. That is, while the company went bankrupt, Grabar and Kuporosov calmly dissected into their personal lands, the cost of which could cover all the company’s debts?
But this was only part of their property… taking into account the presence of foreign offshore companies in the structure of the company, it is easy to assume that they could be used just to transfer money for the personal well-being of the company’s co-founders. Note that Ladoga filed for bankruptcy of PG itself, apparently, because the tax authorities found a “shortage,” although as if outwardly nothing foreshadowed trouble. So will the same thing happen to the new legal entity and is it worth investing in a company that can collapse at one moment?
Until recently, there were entirely offshore companies in the structure of the company. Photo: Rusprofile
Note that Grabar tried in every possible way to deny his connection with Ladoga as the owner. Apparently, so as not to pay debts. And now, when everything has been proven, he is a kind of gas businessman announcing the IPO of his brainchild. By the way, how Grabar got Ladoga and whether everything in this story is definitely a separate topic, we will return to it.
Instead of the bankrupt company, RV-Promalko was formed, its founders for a short time included the offshore JACOBS MARKETING CORPORATION, then RV-Promalko liquidated and betrayed its capacity and powers to the current Ladoga Group. Why all this was done – one can only guess. But sometimes such actions mean conducting dubious operations to drive money “into the dark.”
Politics, Crime, Klebanov
At the moment, the Ladoga Group is controlled by seven individuals, including Grabar Svetlana Anatolyevna, whose share is encumbered by Belous Lyubov Alekseevna. This is the daughter of the former vice-speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region Alexei Belous. In the parliament of the Leningrad region, she is called the confidant of the former presidential envoy for the Northwestern Federal District Ilya Klebanov. Belous was a co-owner of the LKT Company, where Ilya Klebanov was also listed as the founder.
Lyubov Belous and Ilya Klebanov. Photo: RIA Novosti
It is worth noting here that Grabar himself in the early 2000s was an assistant to the then vice-governor of St. Petersburg, Ilya Klebanov. Grabar was responsible for the alcohol market. And, incidentally, he was arrested in 1999 on charges of bribery and abuse of office.
The reason for the arrest was statements to the prosecutor’s office from the directors of the large vodka factories Liviz and Niva. Those accused Grabar of lobbying for the interests of Ladoga and Rosalko-Neva, the shareholder of which was already then. Kommersant wrote about this. And the directors of the factories said that Grabar extorted bribes from them for issuing various approvals of the committee on economics and industrial policy.
Two weeks after the arrest, unknown criminals fired at the apartment of Anton Khokhlov, one of the applicants in the Grabar case, from a machine gun. And Klebanov personally defended his subordinate, saying that industrialists were unhappy with Grabar’s desire to introduce one rule for everyone. I wonder if he meant the rules of “giving on his paw” to officials or some other?
Around the same time, unknown persons beat and robbed Tatyana Lobanova, the director of the AFB-2 vodka factory, also part of the Alliance group, and her family members. Did the Smolny official, who Grabar was then, decide to use gangster methods to eliminate competitors? Did the higher ones decide to cover it? Then the attack on Khokhlov’s house in Smolny was called a staging, although the entrepreneur was injured, and what happened to Lobanova was an ordinary robbery.
The story ended with Grabar being dragged around the courts and isolation wards, and was soon released by order of the prosecutor’s office. Evil tongues say that there was not without the personal participation of Klebanov the intercessor. And after that, Grabar just left the officials and began to develop Ladoga, where he first became the general director, and then the full owner.
And here we return to the question of how it happened that the largest alcohol import suddenly became the property of a former official. The story is very murky. There is no mention in official sources of who originally founded the group. Although, it is quite possible that they were wiped to please Mr. Grabar, who did not want to glow. The authors of the site Compromat.t30 claim that they allegedly founded Ladoga. Grabar himself also did not name who is the ultimate beneficiary when he tried to prove that “bribes from him are smooth.”
Benjamin Grabar. Photo: Anton Vaganov/ https://www.dp.ru/a/2018/04/23/Veniamin_Grabar_predprinja
We know that Grabar’s colleague, who was also presented with Ladoga’s debts, Andrei Kuporosov, was deputy general director of Rosalko-Neva Russian Vodka Trading House in 1996. “Delovoj Petersburg” wrote that Klebanov had common interests with him. And Ladoga was associated with Rosalko-Neva with total capital.
Therefore, it can be assumed that Klebanov’s people initially ruled at the enterprise, and then he put Grabar on his “factories.” So the latter may actually act in the interests of the former plenipotentiary. And is that why Klebanov so “dragged” Grabar, being in the post of vice-governor of St. Petersburg? And is that why Grabar was silent about the real owner of Ladoga when he tried to dissociate himself from her?
Recently, Ms. Belous invested in the Russo-Vysotskaya poultry farm and invested more than 3 billion rubles in the enterprise. It seems that Klebanov’s financial reserves are slightly empty. Why not replenish them with gullible investors? And you never know what else the former plenipotentiary needs. We all dream of a villa in Spain…
Thus, an adulterous picture looms: presumably Klebanov’s business has been making very good money for years, some of which can hide from the state and go to foreign offshore. And investors are offered to invest in such a company in speed. Whereas, it seems, if it were not for Grabar’s connections, his case could sound today on a par with the affairs of the famous St. Petersburg “authority” Vladimir Barsukov-Kumarin…