Miracles on turns!
The family of the ex-official Tkachev purchased the Arkhyz ski resort from the state below cost.
The most interesting thing is that the Kavkaz.RF corporation, having spent money on construction and taking all the risks of promoting the resort, decided to sell it to structures close to Alexander Tkachev as soon as the asset began to make a profit. It happened just before the New Year – December 28th. In January-February, competitive procedures were held, and already on March 1, the winner of the auction became known. Just an amazing somersault!
Everything happened so quickly that none of the possible investors had time to come to their senses – after the board of directors of Kavkaz.RF, chaired by Alexander Novak, approved the deal to sell Arkhyz to private investors, only two months had passed. However, the fact that Arkhyz was preparing for sale was known back in the summer of last year. Several fairly serious contenders were named in the press. Expecting a serious battle at the upcoming auction, Sinara and AFK Sistema even tried to combine assets for joint investment in a promising business. But in the end, both of them lost interest in the deal.
Get rid of income
Did Tkachev use any leverage in order to “persuade” competitors to refuse to participate in the auction? The press services of AFK Sistema and Sinara do not comment on the reasons for refusing to participate in the auction. This is all the more strange because the starting price of the auction was quite small – 17.018 billion rubles. At the same time, according to JSC “Kavkaz.RF”, the total state investment in the project amounted to about 23 billion rubles. And only under contracts for the purchase of equipment and the provision of services for the improvement of the territory of the resort area, we were able to count 10 billion rubles. And how many more expenses were there for the administrative activities of North Caucasus Resorts JSC (since November 2021 – the KAVKAZ.RF corporation. – Ed.), After all, they clearly were not fully included in the estimated 23 billion.
The first tracks of Arkhyz started operating in December 2013, and already in 2020 the resort achieved operating profitability. This is a very good result, usually such projects do not break even so quickly. It is all the more strange that a company that has begun to make a profit is in a hurry to sell. Moreover, in 2022, the interest of tourists in ski resorts has grown significantly – the number of those who have rested in Arkhyz has exceeded 740 thousand, which is 8% more than a year earlier. This year, their number will probably increase even more: after the start of the NWO, Russian fans of winter skiing from the mountains have been ordered to go to European ski resorts and they have little choice. In this situation, the intention of a state corporation to get rid of a profitable asset looks very strange.
Even more surprising is the diligence with which the state corporation carried out the “pre-sale preparation” of the asset before selling it at a lower price.
The fact that before the announcement of the auction, a campaign was launched in the media warning of the “risks” that await future investors also looks like white thread. For example, they talked about the difficulty in obtaining loans for the development of the resort. The fact is that under the terms of the proposed transaction, the share in the project will be only 25%. The investor will be able to receive a full package of shares only after he completes the construction of Arkhyz infrastructure – new hotels, ski lifts and ski slopes with a total length of about 30 kilometers. And all this by 2030.
“With today’s problems associated with Western sanctions, the construction of 30 kilometers of tracks in four years plus their equipment is obviously impossible,” the “experts” assured journalists, assessing the prospects for the future sale of the asset, and expressed doubts that “someone will be ready to take risks “.
All these statements smacked slightly of slyness. It is difficult to say how much the sanctions will interfere with the construction of hotels and ski lifts, but the fact that they redistributed tourist flows very well and raised the income of the domestic resort business to an unprecedented height is a fact.
Be that as it may, only two applications were submitted for the competition for the sale of the Arkhyz resort in Karachay-Cherkessia, which was held by the Kavkaz.RF state company – from Mountain Peaks LLC, associated with the family of Alexander Tkachev, and JSC ” Partner Group. It is interesting that the last company with an authorized capital of only 10 thousand rubles was registered only a month before the start of the auction. Information about the founders of the company is hidden. So the “bargaining” is very similar to the struggle of the Nanai boys.
The fact that before the announcement of the auction, a campaign was launched in the media warning of the “risks” that await future investors also looks like white thread. For example, they talked about the difficulty in obtaining loans for the development of the resort
According to SPARK, the owner and CEO of Gornye Verkhiki, registered in the Krasnodar Territory, is businessman Andrey Skok, whose business is concentrated in this region. Market participants call him the asset manager of the Tkachev family, Vedomosti wrote. Until 2021, Skok managed the Chateau de Talue winery in Gelendzhik, which belongs to the wife of a former official.
Thus, the family of Alexander Tkachev, who already owns the Sochi Krasnaya Polyana, is gradually turning into a “skiing monopoly” in the Caucasus. And if we take into account that the structures of the ex-official “bought” the ski asset on Sakhalin, then we can assume that his appetites will not stop there. It is unlikely that such a trend can please fans of skiing. It is clear that the monopolization of any business leads to a decrease in competition and an increase in prices.
“There were a lot more people this season than in previous years, especially on holidays. The resort was in full swing. Prices have risen compared to last year, and they have risen on absolutely everything. If earlier it was possible to easily find housing for 1.5 thousand per day per person, now it is very problematic to find less than 2.5 thousand. When compared with other resorts, the prices as a percentage of ski passes have risen for all plus or minus the same. But I want to say that living so jumped, as far as I know, only in Arkhyz, – snowboarder Margarita Kotlyarova shares her impressions of the rest.
And this trend is unlikely to change with the sale of the asset to Tkachev. Although, against the background of the “disturbing” statements of the “experts” that “the conditions of the tender are obviously impracticable”, Tkachev looks almost like a hero who “agreed” to take the “junk” asset.
Back in 2021, in Pyatigorsk, Prime Minister Mishustin was indignant at the fact that hundreds of billions of rubles are allocated from the federal treasury every year for the development of the North Caucasus, but there is no result. In 2021 alone, the amount was almost half a trillion, and in the same year, economic indicators fell by 3%. Actually, there is nothing to be surprised here – if profitable facilities are built for public money, and then fused to business on the cheap, nothing else can be expected.
Promises and reality
Back in 2011, Alexei Nevsky, the then General Director of the State Corporation “Resorts of the North Caucasus” (KSK), which has now been transformed into JSC “KAVKAZ.RF”, answering journalists’ questions about whether 60 billion budget funds will be “sawed”, allocated for the construction of new resorts, confidently replied that this would not happen. The guarantee for this is “correct project management”, as well as construction standards tested in the West, which supposedly will be used and implemented in the construction of resorts.
“All 60 billion rubles allocated by the state for the construction of infrastructure for five resorts will be used strictly for their intended purpose,” Alexei Nevsky assured.
Nevertheless, some objects did not begin to be built, others did not reach payback. Claims to the costs of KSK began to appear not only from journalists, but also from the Accounts Chamber. Back in 2017, the average monthly salary of the CEO was under 2 million rubles! His deputies and chief accountant received 1.1 million a month. The rest of the employees – an average of 230 thousand rubles a month.
The company rented a huge Moscow office not just anywhere, but in Moscow City, a prestigious and expensive office center.
“In April 2018, an agreement was concluded with Severnaya Tower CJSC for the lease of premises with an area of 2.4 thousand square meters for a period until March 31, 2023 with the amount of rent for the entire period of 391.9 million rubles (including operating costs and three parking places),” the Accounts Chamber notes.
It turns out 33 thousand rubles per 1 square meter. In some areas, for such a price, a corporation could buy an office for itself, paying for it an amount equivalent to a year’s rent. Why, KSK did not skimp on buying even helicopters! With budget money, of course, being in operating losses on projects that have been started. For comparison: the profit from the operation of Arkhyz facilities, according to the Accounts Chamber, in 2018 amounted to 204.4 million rubles, and two Eurocopters by that time were on the balance sheet for 205.2 million rubles and cost the company 20.8 million rubles per year. year.
Of the no less strange actions, the inspectors then discovered charitable assistance to the VisitKavkaz Foundation for 22.7 million and loans for improving the living conditions of 13 employees for 100 million.
By the way
The authorized capital of the Kavkaz.RF state corporation is almost 70 billion rubles, by 2024 the government plans to increase it by another 13.5 billion. At the same time, the construction of some facilities in the Caucasus has not even begun. So, the ski resort “Matlas” in Dagestan exists only on paper. Apparently, a beneficiary has not yet been found who has the opportunity to redirect budgetary flows to its construction in order to later buy it at a dumping price. Another “long-term construction” among the ski resorts of the Caucasus is “Mamison” in North Ossetia. State funds were allocated for the construction of this facility back in 2010. In 2020, the cost of it from the federal budget has already amounted to at least 734 million rubles, and in total until 2023 it was planned to spend 10 times more. But in fact, it exists only in beautiful pictures. The opening of the resort is delayed from year to year. According to the latest data, it should happen in 2024. But, judging by how the construction is going, the deadline will be postponed again. Apparently, the object is still waiting for its “lobbyist”.