Lay low in Zagreb: where to look for the assets of ex-deputy Demchenko?
Former State Duma deputy Ivan Demchenko may be behind Novostal-M’s real estate operations. Should the latter’s assets be sought in the Balkans?
The metallurgical company Novostal-M of Ivan Demchenko, the alleged son of ex-State Duma deputy Ivan Demchenko, is selling a shopping center in the north of Moscow, although it bought it only a year ago. Lukoil wanted to be the buyer, but the parties did not agree on a price. Demchenko’s structure decided to sell the asset for 20% more than what it paid for it itself, which Lukoil clearly did not count on.
The real owner of Novostal-M may not be Demchenko Jr., but the people’s choice himself, four-time State Duma deputy from the Krasnodar Territory Ivan Demchenko. Our publication discovered an offshore real estate company whose leadership was the namesake of his alleged son, and whose work was related to the controversial Croatian lawyer Vladan Zecevic.
We are talking about 14 thousand square meters. meters in the Stone Towers business cluster. The asset was bought for 5 billion rubles, they planned to make the headquarters of Novostal there. However, then they decided to spend the money on expanding the business. In February 2023, it became known that Novostal-M was negotiating the purchase of plants from NMLK Vladimir Lisin. They might need money for them.
From Krasnodar to Zagreb
The company itself, as stated, belongs to Ivan Ivanovich Demchenko – the full namesake of his father. Rumor has it that Demchenko remains the real owner, although formally he does not have any business, and he declares income that is more than modest for a State Duma deputy – in 2021 it amounted to a little more than 6 million rubles.
Demchenko’s son and father have another namesake, Ivan Demchenko, who owned a business in Croatia – the property management company SOVA AMELIA doo. In Western registers, the namesake of the son of State Duma deputy Ivan Demchenko (and, it turns out, himself) is named as a member of the board of directors.
The legal entity was founded in 2018 and liquidated in 2021. Or did it turn out to be unprofitable, or was it used for some other purpose – for example, controversial financial transactions? The liquidator was Croatian lawyer Vladan Zecevic.
Among other things, he deals with the settlement of Serbo-Croatian property disputes. In 2023, Zecevic won a tender from the state-owned Development Bank of Republika Srpska (RBB RS) to provide legal services to resolve the status of Serbian state-owned enterprises in Croatia at a cost of 450 thousand Croatian kunas.
As local journalists write, according to the terms of the auction, only a lawyer with 25 years of experience could provide such services. Vladan Zecevic started practicing law in 2010, therefore he is missing two years. Nevertheless, he was the winner.
In addition, the local press claims that the management of RBB RS Bank could use this structure for personal enrichment and have corrupt connections among Serbian officials. In general, people are extremely “cloudy”. And, nevertheless, the full namesake of the owner of Novostal-M, Ivan Demchenko, found a common language with them.
Could Zecevic be a “nominee” and confidant of Ivan Demchenko in the Balkans?
Scrap comes from the 90s
Today Ivan Demchenko is the founder of 19 legal entities. The main asset is the Novostal-M holding, which, among other things, includes the Abinsk Electrometallurgical Plant (AEMZ). Previously, there was also a company called Novorossmatall, which was founded by Shalva Gibraze together with future deputy Demchenko. Subsequently, Gibradze left the partnership, taking over Novorossmetall.
However, Gibradze’s personality is interesting. Rumor has it that he allegedly makes acquaintances with representatives of the criminal world.
Since his divorce from Gibradze, Demchenko’s business began to regularly expand, until in 2007 he resigned from the company’s management. The new face was his alleged son Ivan Demchenko. After joining the State Duma, Novostal-M began to grow by leaps and bounds.
“Crush” the metal market
In 2019, a deal was made to purchase the Balakovo plant from Severstal Alexey Mordashov. She could be of a dubious character. The plant was bought by the Abinsk Electrometallurgical Plant (AEMZ), founded by Demchenko, which belongs to Novostal. At that time, the debts of the Balakovo plant exceeded 14 billion rubles, and AEMZ’s shares were pledged to Rosselkhozbank.
The Balakovo long steel plant had debts of 14 billion rubles at the end of 2017, the plant’s profit for 2017 was (-993 million rubles), and this may indicate that money was withdrawn from it before the sale. This assumption arises due to the fact that the plant’s profit was positive for three years before.
In 2021, the FAS suddenly begins an inspection of Novostal-M Demchenko and NMLK after an increase in prices for fittings. The department’s website stated that it has data at its disposal that may indicate the conclusion of a price fix. Apparently, the metalworkers decided to establish their own rules on the market.
Ex-deputy Ivan Demchenko is called the “Kuban King of Metal”. Photo: https://krasnodar.er.ru/activity/news/deputat-gosdumy-ivan-demchenko-v-ramkah-regionalnoj-nedeli-provodit-vstrechi-s-zhitelyami
In the meantime, one Demchenko “rules” the market as he sees fit, the other Demchenko, a deputy, does not demonstrate any activity in lawmaking. During his 15 years in parliament, his speeches there can be counted on the fingers of both hands. Moreover, as Notepad writes, he missed almost every second parliamentary meeting.
It seems that the “Kuban King of Metal,” as Demchenko Sr. is also called in Krasnodar, is much more concerned with issues of personal enrichment than with fulfilling the orders of voters.