Krasnodar businessman Yevgeny Svistula became the full sole owner of the Kamchatka fishing company Vityaz-Avto. The event, it would seem, is not particularly remarkable – a deal as a deal. But given that before that the company, according to some reports, half belonged to a structure controlled by the family of the ex-Minister of Agriculture of Russia Alexander Tkachev, then the last transaction begins to “play with new colors”.
In addition, the business interests and the new buyer at one time directly intersected with the interests of the ex-minister’s agricultural holding.
In mid-May, owned Evgeny Svistula Vostochny Aktiv LLC, registered in Krasnodar in November 2022, received 99% of Vityaz-Avto LLC, the remaining 1% is owned by the businessman directly. The amount of the transaction is not called, but we can assume the approximate cost of the asset bought by Svistula. In February of this year, the acquisition of 50% of Vityaz-Auto cost to the buyer in 160 million dollars (about 12 billion rubles).
Despite the non-core name, Vityaz-Auto is one of the largest fishing companies in Kamchatka. To her belongs a salmon plant operating on modern equipment using quite advanced technologies, and a fishing area for the extraction of sockeye salmon. The plant is capable of producing up to 120 tons of finished products per day. The profitability of production is also facilitated by the geolocation of the enterprise, which is located near the world’s largest spawning ground for sockeye salmon – on the Ozernaya River in the Ozernovsky settlement of the Ust-Bolsheretsky district of Kamchatka.
Sockeye salmon is, of course, the most targeted resource for the plant, but not the only one. How informed “Versiya” earlier, along the way, “Vityaz-Avto” from the “red” produces pink salmon, from other types of fish – pollock, saffron cod, flounder, herring. In 2018, Vityaz-Auto, as part of the investment quota program, built a pollock fillet and minced meat plant with a capacity of about 100 tons per day.
2022 has become very difficult for Vityaz-Auto: revenue did not exceed 25 thousand rubles with a loss of 2 thousand. Although in 2020 Vityaz-Auto earned 5.4 billion rubles with a net profit of 1.1 billion. For 2023, for Vityaz-Avto, according to the Federal Agency for Fishery, there were fixed “historical” quotas for the extraction of 8.7 thousand tons of pollock, more than 2.5 thousand tons of flounder, 2.9 thousand tons of saffron cod and 1.3 thousand tons of halibut.
A tragic story was connected with Vityaz-Auto. Version wrote that until February 2023 the company was equally owned by four owners. It was controlled by the ex-deputy of the legislative assembly of the Kamchatka Territory Igor Redkin with his wife Elena. Wife of a senator from the Kamchatka Territory Valeria Ponomareva Ekaterina owned the third 25 percent. Another former shareholder is a co-owner of the Okeanrybflot fishing enterprise Igor Evtushokalso a deputy of the Kamchatka Legislative Assembly.
In August 2021, Igor Redkin was condemned for 9 months of restriction of freedom for unintentional murder. The ex-deputy then said that in the village of Ozernovsky a bear roamed the landfill, a meeting with which could end tragically for any of the local residents. Igor Redkin shot a bear at dusk with a gun, but, as it turned out, wounded a resident of the village, who was on the line of the shot. The victim later died in the hospital. In April 2023, the case was discontinued for the reconciliation of the parties – the relatives of the deceased made a corresponding petition.
Perhaps this state of emergency was the reason for the sale of half of Vityaz-Avto to the company, as many media claimed, controlled by the ex-head of the Ministry of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev.
At the same time, AFK Sistema was also interested in the company. Vladimir Evtushenkov. Prior to that, in the summer of 2022, the corporation had already acquired 49% of the Zarya company, which is also engaged in fishing in Kamchatka. Its share reaches 10% in the salmon market of Kamchatka and 5% in Russia. Yevtushenkov’s structures also bought a 75% stake in Crystal Fish LLC and a 10% stake in Hangar LLC. But Vityaz-Auto went to others. And in AFK Sistema then saidthat the corporation is only “working through various options for expanding its fish business.”
Evgeny Svistula’s purchase of Vityaz-Avto LLC may seem, to put it mildly, strange. From June 2020 Evgeny Vladimirovich owns half of the Moscow Geofit LLC, which operates fitness centers (the World Fitness club is located at the address of the organization). And at the end of April 2022, the company founded by Svistula bought out the agricultural assets of the Czech PPF Group in Russia: LLC Land Reserve (in which 99% belonged to Svistula, and 1% to the Russian Agricultural Bank) received 100% of the Voronezh LLC RAV Agro. Czech agricultural holding grew cereals on 66 thousand hectares and developed dairy farms in the Voronezh region. Even then, Kommersant’s sources stated that Yevgeny Svistula’s Land Reserve was “going in the same fairway” with the Tkachev family’s Agrocomplex. Although in the holding itself of the ex-head of the Ministry of Agriculture, this connection refuted.
In May 2022, literally immediately after the purchase, Svistula left the owners of the Land Reserve in favor of Maria Lisitsina, which became the main beneficiary of the company. There are opinions in the media that Lisitsina is also tied with the “Agrocomplex” of the Tkachevs. A possible connection with the ex-minister can be assumed from other points. When Mr. Tkachev was the governor of the Krasnodar Territory, Maria Lisitsina worked in various positions in the regional administration.
The connection between Lisitsina and Svistula is also can be traced on one of the Internet resources through Akashevskaya Poultry Farm LLC (founder and CEO Maria Lisitsina) and now Vityaz-Avto.
And now let’s assume that in the end it turns out after all the manipulations. We do not affirm anything, but due to the fact that Yevgeny Svistula bought Vityaz-Avto completely, it is naturally easier for representatives of Alexander Tkachev to talk with the sole owner, and not with the company of equity founders.
It would seem illogical that the structures of the “Agrocomplex” of the ex-Minister of Agriculture became interested in an asset that is not a core business for agribusiness – a fish factory. But in fact, this may be one of the steps to expand the business interests of the Tkachevs throughout the Far East. In the media every now and then there are reports about the activity of Alexander Nikolayevich’s son-in-law – Romana Batalova in the field of tourism and entertainment. Businessman already develops resort and gambling zone in Krasnaya Polyana, plans to develop a ski resort on Sakhalin and build a theme park with a resort and hotel complex on Russky Island (near Vladivostok) for 32 billion rubles.
The Vityaz-Avto fish factory is certainly not superfluous in this sense. Fish delicacies can be profitably served on the tables of resorts and casinos. But so far this is just a guess.