The next acquisition of R-Pharm is about to be the plant of the Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical in Yaroslavl. If the deal goes through, the company will be even more will strengthen its position as the largest Russian drug manufacturer. And by adding a large distributor in the person of Biotek to the perimeter of his business, Alexey Repik will be able to rise a few more places in the ranking of Russian rich people.
The largest Russian drug manufacturer R-Pharm and the Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical have reached agreements in principle on the sale of a plant to a foreign company in Yaroslavl. There is currently a discussion going on about the possible value of the asset. It is worth noting that, among other things, the plant is attractive due to its favorable location, and in Yaroslavl there are specialized educational institutions that train specialists for the pharmaceutical industry. That is, the buyer will not only receive an established production of finished dosage forms, but will also be able to provide it with qualified personnel. Production capacities designed for 90 million ampoules and more than 3 billion tablets per year were launched 10 years ago, in 2013. Now pharmaceutical market experts estimate them at about 10 billion rubles, but, according to them, the final amount of the transaction will depend on whether the brands of the Japanese company will be included in its perimeter.
Both Takeda Pharmaceutical and R-Pharm refuse to comment on the possible deal until it is completed. According to media reports, Pharmstandard showed interest in purchasing this asset. Victor Kharitonin, but apparently he had little success in the negotiations. Nevertheless, it is already becoming clear that if the transaction is successfully completed, R-Pharm will strengthen its leadership position in the pharmaceutical market, and its founder Alexey Repik will continue his climb up the Forbes “ladder of triumph.” By the way, in 2022 he occupied 64th place in the ranking of Russian billionaires, and in the current 2023 he has already moved to 45th position and clearly intends to move on.
At the same time, evil tongues stubbornly continue to call Alexey Repik “the main beneficiary” in the criminal case of another pharmaceutical magnate and politician – Boris Shpigel. Let us recall that the real head of the Biotek group of companies is Spiegel (nominally most of the group’s enterprises are registered in the name of his wife Evgeniy) was arrested and located in a pre-trial detention center on charges of giving a large bribe to the now former governor of the Penza region Ivan Belozertsev. Boris Isaakovich is considered such an influential figure in this region that the trial in the Belozertsev-Spiegel case was even moved to Moscow.
“Classics” and “contemporaries”
It seems that from the older generation, Alexey Repik has firmly grasped the idea that business works most effectively in conjunction with the authorities. But if so, then he applied it in a new way. The young entrepreneur (Alexey Evgenievich Repik was born on August 27, 1979) did not become a deputy or senator, as, for example, Boris Shpigel and many other businessmen of the 90s did. He became involved in active social activities. Thus, since 2012, Repik has been co-chairman for international activities, since 2014 – president, and from 2019 to this day – chairman of the All-Russian public organization “Business Russia”. Also, since 2014, he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the ANO Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects, and from 2014 to 2017 he was a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, where he was chairman of the Commission on Investment Climate Issues. And this is only a small part of the long list of positions that Alexey Repik holds in various expert and coordination councils under the government and other government bodies. Let’s add to this that he is married and is the father of four children. The question inevitably arises: how does he manage to do everything? Indeed, people who know Repik personally note his phenomenal performance. But is it the only guarantee of equally phenomenal success?
The biography of Alexey Repik says that he got his first job at a fairly young age because he was “friendly with a computer.” And already in 2001, at the age of 22, he founded his own company, R-Pharm. His mother Valeria Daeva, a specialist in the construction industry, helped him open a business. It was she who added the missing money to her son and, apparently, still helps, now working in his company and being responsible for the construction of new factories and branches. Evil tongues accusing Repik of “connections with the special services” again point at his mother, talking about her contacts with the logistics service of one of the law enforcement agencies.
There have long been questions about Alexey Repik’s business methods. Thus, from 2011 to 2014, R-Pharm executed 639 government contracts in the Yaroslavl region, and half of them were received by the company without any competition. In 2017, R-Pharm was accused of disrupting 19 contracts for the purchase of drugs for HIV-infected patients. In 2018, more than 20 electronic keys from different companies were discovered in the R-Pharm office for participation in auctions. And this, it seems, is only a tiny part of the scandalous stories from which R-Pharm has practically never emerged throughout its existence. For understanding: in 2017 alone, the Arbitration Court considered 67 cases of a company’s disruption of the supply of medicines.
The dogs are barking – the caravan is moving…
In theory, such a trail should have long ago led to the company being included in the register of unscrupulous suppliers, but no – government contracts continue to pour in. This strange state of affairs can be explained not so much by the mythical “siloviki” allegedly standing behind Repik, but, most likely, by his active social activities. What regional official would risk standing in the way of a person who is in the highest offices? Among Alexey Repik’s “dearest friends” most often called Tatyana Golikovain 2007–2012, former head of the Ministry of Health, and now deputy chairman of the Russian government.
Separately, we note that, judging by the search results, Alexey Repik does not like the noise around his person. Even though his wife Polina Repik a fairly well-known beauty blogger and businesswoman (she has her own brand of women’s clothing), it is almost impossible to find personal information about him on the Internet. And the scandalous stories with R-Pharm, which can no longer be forgotten, apparently have to be perceived as an inevitable part of the business process.
By the way, now Alexey Repik is “only” the chairman of the board of directors of the R-Pharm Holding group. Last year, having fallen under UK sanctions, he handed over the business to the company’s management and his mother. But, as they say, everyone understands everything. U Valeria Daeva in any case, there is reason to be proud of my son – he raised a successful businessman and an exemplary family man. But the United States did not impose sanctions against Repik…
So, most likely, “the felt boots behind which are the security forces” is a joke in which there is only a fraction of a joke. Those who could stand behind Repik are probably sitting in very spacious offices. And here we cannot help but remember that Boris Shpigel, who was taken from court in an ambulance on July 21 in a pre-heart attack state, may simply not live to see the verdict. There is a seasonal increase in the incidence of COVID-19, and it is this factor that is believed to have aggravated the confrontation around the state contracts of Biotek and R-Pharm in 2020–2021. At the same time, R-Pharm, unlike Biotek, was not only a distributor, but also a manufacturer of drugs based on the active substance favipiravir (coronavir, areplivir). These drugs can be produced in Russia as generics of the Japanese Avigan, the patent for which expired in 2019.
Based on this assumption, could Alexey Repik come to the conclusion that his resources are powerful enough to “ask” a competitor to move and “free the clearing”? Hypothetically – quite. In practice, this will most likely become clear in the coming months.
Immediately after his arrest on March 21, 2021, Boris Shpigel connected this event with an attempt to take away his business. According to him, nine months earlier, certain people forced him to give up a controlling stake in Biotek, threatening him with prison. The former senator also told reporters that he could hardly move on his own, and doctors discovered he had cancer. “I’m not a tenant, that’s for sure,” said the businessman, answering questions from the Kommersant newspaper. In April 2023, it became known that Dmitry Rutskoy, the son of politician and retired major general Alexander Rutskoy, became the manager of the Biotek Group of Companies.