The businessmen undertook to raise a large Soviet trust, but after the protests in Kushtau they ended up in disgrace
We continue to tell you about the companies that are building Ufa and the businessmen who stand behind them. This time we will closely study the Large-Panel Housing Construction trust, which appeared back in Soviet times and has gone through a path full of ups and downs. falls. This company today is one of the leaders in the construction market of Bashkiria, but its owners seem not to be proud of this and are hiding behind Cypriot offshore companies.
You will find out in this article how this happened, who these offshore companies are connected with, and also what kind of elderly woman unexpectedly received a piece of the largest developer in her possession a couple of years ago.
Walked the right path
Few things evoke as many conflicting feelings in Russians as typical Soviet high-rise buildings. On the one hand, today there are often many questions about them – not all the standards of those years have survived the test of time, and even the most successful of them have an expiration date – after all, houses sooner or later become unsafe and uninhabitable. On the other hand, it is these people who form the characteristic urban landscape and evoke warm nostalgic feelings in us.
Ufa is no exception: like other large cities of the former USSR, it was massively built up with such housing. Large-panel housing construction in the capital of Bashkiria has been developed since 1963 as a direction capable of solving the problem of building mass inexpensive housing, said the scientific and technical magazine “Housing Construction”. The largest plants operating in this area were Bashkortostanneftezavodstroy and Large Panel Housing Construction (KPD).
Both are still operating, and KPD even retains its leading position – according to the Unified Information System of Housing Construction of the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation, this trust, as of September 2023, ranks ninth in the republic in terms of area of projected housing, which is 3.53% of the entire market . At the same time, the company has experienced both successful and outright failure periods in its history, and it is quite difficult to figure out who owns it now without in-depth research.
The Ufa trust “Large-panel housing construction” was founded in 1968, as stated in the interactive encyclopedia “Bashkortostan”. In 1988, the trust was transformed into the Ufa Design and Construction Association. Its leader was Rashit Mamleevwho previously managed the Stroymekhanizatsiya trust and briefly worked as deputy head of Glavbashstroy.
In the eighties, the KPD building near Yuryuzan looked much more modest
As Mamleev recalled in an interview with the publication “Republic of Bashkortostan”, that year he was planning to go for a promotion to Moscow, but a call from the secretary of the regional committee Rifa Gareeva changed plans.
“Rif Rakhimovich did not recognize sentimentality, he spoke and acted harshly,” said the manager. “And so, in his indisputable manner, he tells me: the KPD trust is being reorganized into a design and construction association, and they are currently holding elections for a leader. You must make sure that the team chooses you.
Before that, while working at Glavbashstroy, Mamleev supervised this trust for about a month, and therefore, in his own words, “was aware of all its bottlenecks.” He became the head of the enterprise for almost 18 years, and survived the collapse of the Soviet Union in this post. This event, apparently, became a big shock for the already expanded enterprise, which had set itself the goal of bringing housing commissioning to a million square meters by 1994, but suddenly found itself without support.
In 1992, the trust was corporatized, as follows from the data of the interactive encyclopedia “Bashkortostan”, and by the mid-2000s the general director was its largest shareholder, Kommersant indicated. As he himself said in the previously mentioned interview, when the Soviet Union disappeared, the company “in the conditions of the emerging market was sentenced to death first.”
The enterprise found itself without government orders, a huge enterprise with dormitories, kindergartens, a building in the Assy sanatorium and a children’s camp in Yumatovo hung like a stone around the neck of the team. Mamleev, who served several terms as a deputy in the Bashkir Kurultai, thought through and lobbied in parliament for a law on mortgages, which would be very important for the trust.
KPD had to look for orders on its own, establish contacts with factories, and reconstruct its own production facilities. By the mid-2000s, investors appeared – the Moscow group Petrotek showed interest in the company, planning to create a construction consortium on the basis of KPD.
The founders of the group were a businessman from Sterlitamak Sergei Chernikov, who earned his first money from small businesses related to furniture trading, waste disposal and pawn shops, as well as his army comrade Viktor Islamov. At the time of the events described, these two controlled the Soda and Caustic chemical enterprises in Sterlitamak (they would later be united under the auspices of the Bashkir Soda Company).
Rashit Mamleev (pictured with a bouquet) later became an Honorary Builder of Russia
Relations between the “old guard” and the “youth”, who decided to build something of their own out of “KPD”, did not work out. The conflict between the new and old owners in 2006–2007 resulted in the scandalous dismissal of Rashit Mamleev from the post of director. The latter, as Kommersant wrote, accused investors of attempting a raider takeover. There was also a case when a group of young people, allegedly employees of one of the Samara private security companies, burst into the office of the new director Rustem Saidashev, demanding his dismissal – they claimed that they acted in the interests of Mamleev. The confrontation ended in victory for Petrotek.
Chernikov, Islamov and their partners were generally on top during these years and earned huge fortunes, which we talked about in a separate article. Entrepreneurs were looking for new areas for investment, including abroad – for example, they bought the Canadian oil and gas company CanBaikal, Polex factories for the production of plastic packaging in Ufa and the Moscow region.
Often, the founders of Petrotek registered their newly acquired assets offshore (which later played a cruel joke on them). This fate did not spare KPD either, whose shares soon after the change of owners began to flow abroad, judging by data from the Interfax corporate information disclosure center.
Thus, by 2011, 99.07% of them were controlled by Cypriot companies Kolvita Holdings Ltd. and Ugol Properties Ltd. During the same period, by the way, control over the shares of Petrotek chemical enterprises was transferred to offshore companies in the island state. In 2012 Kolvita Holdings Ltd. already solely owned 99.07% of the shares of KPD; by 2014, the Cypriot Grosword Ltd. received them.
The “Golden Share” was managed by the Ministry of Land Property of Bashkiria, government representatives were present on the board of directors, as follows from the data of the corporate information disclosure center. However, state participation in this business, apparently, ceased after KPD was declared bankrupt in 2015 and the liquidation of the parent joint-stock company in 2017.
The fact is that the company went to the new owners in a pre-bankruptcy state – as mentioned in an interview with Vechernaya Ufa that was preserved in a reprint. Victor Islamov, KPD had debts to contractors, employees and the tax office, as well as a large number of defrauded shareholders. The reorganization that began in 2015 did not save the company from subsequent liquidation, but, as RBC wrote, Petrotek managed to significantly reduce the number of subsidiaries created by the trust’s previous owners.
There were more than 120 such companies, they made the business structure opaque, and sometimes were used for very dubious schemes, as the head of the department for tax crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bashkiria pointed out in a commentary to Rossiyskaya Gazeta in 2007 Dail Gubaidullin.
— We became interested in the financial schemes used by construction organizations to pay migrant workers. As it turned out, it is builders who are most often paid wages in envelopes. At the same time, workers lose almost all social guarantees, they are often deceived,” he said. — According to our data, 90 percent of the subagents of companies through which non-cash funds are transferred into illegal shadow circulation in Bashkortostan are precisely enterprises in the construction sector. Among other things, we found out that the services of one of these companies, registered using a lost passport, were used by subsidiaries of this construction company (“KPD.” – Note edit.).
Viktor Islamov (left) with his alleged brother Valery
Here it is worth mentioning the context in which this comment was given: on February 6, 2007, Armenian labor migrants who worked at KPD during the construction of a nine-story building in Blagoveshchensk in 2002, cottages in Novoaleksandrovka, Balanovo and Bulgakovo in 2004, staged a picket near dacha of ex-director Rashit Mamleev. A group of people carrying a coffin with the inscription “Here is your promise, hope for justice,” as well as banners “Give us our money” and “Down with free labor,” walked in front of a house in an elite village on the shores of Lake Akmanay, Regnum said (in this place also lives, for example, the chairman of the Kurultai of Bashkiria Konstantin Tolkachev and other VIPs). However, there was no reaction from the owner of the dacha.
It is noteworthy that from at least 2009 to 2013, the former first deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bashkiria was on the board of directors of KPD Nikolay Patrikeevfired from the authorities in the early 2000s amid the publication of an audio recording of his conversation with a four-time convicted crime boss Erast Fomichev (Foma), from whom the major general demanded to immediately bring “girls and grub.” History is silent about whether its presence is connected with the beginning of the reorganization of KPD or whether it, on the contrary, was “inherited” by the new owners along with debts from previous owners.
Upon completion of bankruptcy, the construction group did not sink into oblivion – the liquidated subsidiaries and the parent JSC were replaced by new LLCs, often with the same names as the previous ones, and in this format the KPD trust continued to exist, follows from the service data “ Contour.Focus”. At that time, the company actively fought for the right to become the general contractor for the development of the promising Ufa Zabelie (this ended in failure), and took on the completion of problematic residential complexes that were unfinished by other contractors.
As experts interviewed by Kommersant commented in 2013, the company, after a change of owners, was actively looking for a place in the market, trying to create a pool of sites that would provide it with work for years to come; the same thing was told to journalists by an interlocutor in the management of the trust, who complained about this , that for a long time the enterprise was “excluded from land circulation in the republic.”
Sergei Chernikov was not publicly mentioned in connection with KPD, but it was his Petrotek group that owned this enterprise
By the end of the tenth and early twenties, KPD again became a significant player in its field, but in the process its owners encountered serious difficulties with their key business assets. In 2020, due to a loud environmental protest in defense of the Kushtau Shikhan, the process of deprivatization of the Bashkir Soda Company, which planned to mine limestone on this mountain, began.
One of the arguments in favor of the fact that the owners of Soda need to be carefully studied was precisely the fact that they, as the authorities indicated, were actively withdrawing money abroad through offshore companies. As a result, the Prosecutor General’s Office had claims against the privatization transactions of the 90s, which is why the court considered all subsequent actions with the company to be insignificant. The Bashkir Soda Company went to the state, and its former owners – the founders of Petrotek, left without their main enterprises, went into the shadows. Moreover, they managed to create a reserve base abroad for themselves.
Both Islamov and Chernikov, Lenta.ru indicated, settled in Switzerland, where they purchased real estate. Moreover, the estate of Chateau La Martinette in the south-east of France was also associated with the first – according to the Pappers.fr service, Victor Islamov has the company “La Miellerie Provencale” registered there to this day, which can be translated as “Provençal honey factory “
In 2013, Chernikov purchased a house (center in the foreground) a couple of tens of meters from the shore of Lake Geneva
Against this background, there have been changes in the ownership structure of companies included in the KPD construction group. Thus, if previously the parent company “Trust KPD” was fully owned by the already familiar Cypriot offshore Grosword Ltd., then by the spring of 2021, the management company “Bear Lake”, associated with Alexander Semakin – In the past, he was a director at the Ambiel company, which belonged to members of the family of the founders of Petrotek.
A few months later, the shares were split again – several new companies joined the authorized capital. Among them are the Cypriot offshore companies XV Construction Ltd. and Padworth Investments Ltd., likely related to the founders of Petrotek (the first company has the same director as Kolvita Holdings Ltd., the second has the same director as Ugol Properties Ltd.). Part of the company went to Ambiel co-founder Mikhail Dushak. The alleged 63-year-old brother of Viktor Islamov, Valery, also received a share in the company, but subsequently transferred it to Elena Islamova – judging by social networks, this is his wife.
Valery and Elena Islamov are probably one of the “holders of Viktor Islamov’s share”
The main new person among the founders of Trust KPD is the company Complex Development, which at that time and to this day is owned by 90% Rosa Starova and 10% to the director Andrey Egorov. The latter, according to Kontur.Focus, has long been interacting with Rosa Nikolaevna in various commercial organizations, and their paths also crossed several times with businessman Dmitry Korol, who, together with ex-Kurultai deputy Alexander Degtev, made a fortune for himself through participation in the bankruptcies of various companies Bashkiria.
Rosa Starova herself is the mother of the current Kurultai deputy Vadim Starov, who in the past owned several now liquidated firms in the field of law and business consulting in Ufa, follows from the materials of the Arbitration Court of Bashkiria. In 2018, Roza Nikolaevna was involved in a legal dispute with the mother of State Duma deputy Ivan Sukharev Tatyana – judging by the case materials, the pensioners disagreed about the transactions of the Region-Tender company, which they once jointly owned.
By the way, another participant in that process was Lira Ramazanova, the mother of the then deputy of the Ufa City Council Vadim Ramazanov. According to Kommersant, Sukharev, Starov and Ramazanov once had common business interests, but in the tens they seriously quarreled.
Be that as it may, 76-year-old, judging by her alleged profile on the social network, Rosa Starova, with her business partner Andrei Egorov, is to this day one of the beneficiaries of the largest construction company in the region, in company with managers from the team of disgraced founders “Petroteka” and related offshore companies.
In 2023, Vadim Starov was once again elected as a deputy of the Kurultai
Apparently, no one in power is bothered by this situation, and KPD receives large projects for implementation – only in 2023, the mayor’s office of Ufa entrusted the company with the development of the block in front of the Gastello stadium, in Inors (both projects under agreements on the integrated development of the territory), and also the construction of a new residential complex on Vladivostokskaya Street. In total, it is planned to invest more than 20 billion rubles in these projects.
It is difficult to assess the financial results of the KPD group due to the large number of subsidiaries, but if you look at the indicators of the parent company, you can conclude that the situation is quite stable. In 2019, with revenue of 321.34 million rubles, the company received 100.05 million rubles of net profit; in 2020, with 222.89 million rubles in revenue, it went negative by 60.18 million rubles, but already in 2021, with 181. With 87 million rubles of revenue, she managed to receive 223.4 million rubles of net profit, and Trest KPD finished 2022 with 211.39 million rubles of net profit with revenue of 277.39 million.
The company Iceberg, owned by members of the Chernikov family, is registered in this house in France.
Apparently, the founders of Petrotek themselves, to whom all the threads in the intricate trust ownership scheme lead today, no longer live in Russia. The wife of 59-year-old Sergei Chernikov said on social networks that she teaches at the Crescendo school for Russian-speaking children in Geneva, the same city is listed as the city of residence in the profile of the businessman himself. Also in the French province of Megève, in a cozy-looking house, his family registered the company Iceberg for the purchase and management of real estate, as follows from the data of the Pappers.fr service.
59-year-old Viktor Islamov, who, like Chernikov, has a home in Switzerland and a business in France, today does not appear as a founder or director of any business structures in Russia, according to Kontur.Focus data. According to documents from his French company La Miellerie Provencale, in 2021 he was living in Geneva in an apartment building on Avenue Amandollier.
This is what Islamov’s house looks like in Geneva