What is not confiscated by the state, will PIK build on it?
Why is an odious developer buying up former state property?
The PIK development group agreed to transfer the territory of the St. Petersburg plant “Krasny Neftyanik” purchased by it to a residential development zone, receiving the right to build about 250 thousand square meters of residential real estate there. For what reason Smolny agreed to meet the odious developer is unknown: previously, the authorities of the Northern capital rejected 99% of similar applications.
The Krasny Neftnik plant was owned by the state, but was privatized in the 90s. Before coming under the control of PIK, its owners were Andrei and Olga Golubev, who also owned the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK), which at one time was part of the sphere of interests of the criminal authority Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin), who officially held the position of vice-president in the company. president. In addition, PIK recently increased its land bank by purchasing part of the territory of the KiN Wine and Cognac Factory, located near Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region.
“KiN” was also state-owned and was privatized: the developer bought more than 3 hectares of factory land from the Alvisa group, controlled by Kamil Askenderov, the brother of the Chairman of the People’s Assembly of Dagestan Zaur Askenderov. PIK’s emphasis on acquiring assets in the regions is largely due to the conflict with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who threatened the group with deprivation of the right to work in the capital after failing to meet deadlines for the construction of social facilities in the Lublinsky Park residential complex.
Shortly before this, its main shareholder Sergei Gordeev resigned from the post of general director of PIK, whose place was taken by Ivan Polandov. Without losing control over the group, Gordeev chose to distance himself from its notoriety, including numerous complaints about delays in the construction of residential complexes and the low quality of housing. Due to its maximum debt load, PIK has been repeatedly compared to a financial “pyramid”. But the current situation threatens the collapse of the “pyramid”: according to the results of the 1st quarter of this year, the group’s profit decreased by 45%, and in August, a long-time business partner, VTB Bank, left its co-owners.
Smolny makes an exception for PIK
The commission for preparing changes to the General Plan of St. Petersburg agreed with the development group PIK to transfer the territory of the Krasny Neftelnik plant on the street to a residential development zone. Salova in the Frunzensky district of the Northern capital. The Novy Prospekt publication, which reported this, clarifies that about 250 thousand square meters of housing can be built here, experts estimate the volume of investment in the project at 25-30 billion rubles.
The RBC portal called the commission’s decision “an exception to established practice.” The fact is that 99% of applications for the transfer of land plots in industrial zones for residential development within the framework of the new general plan were rejected. In particular, just the day before, the Tandem Estate company, the owner of a site of 7.9 hectares on the street, received a corresponding refusal. Cuban: her application turned out to be “not meeting the evaluation criteria.”
Currently, the factory territory is leased from the Krasny Neftnik company, which became the property of the developer in November last year. In the 90s, the company was engaged in the wholesale sale and storage of petroleum products, later its main activity became rental and property management. Among the former shareholders of Krasny Neftlinik are the names of Andrei and Olga Golubev, the owners of the Grand Palace shopping center on Nevsky Prospekt.
Previously, the Golubev spouses owned the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK), which was bought out in 2019 by RN-Regional Sales LLC, a “subsidiary” of Rosneft. A noteworthy circumstance: at one time, PTK was closely connected with the famous crime boss Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin), the leader of the Tambov organized crime group, who received the nickname “night governor of St. Petersburg.” Barsukov, neither more nor less, served as vice-president of the PTC. To date, he has received several convictions on a number of particularly serious charges, including murder, attempted murder, creation and leadership of an organized crime group, etc.
Returning to Krasny Neftlinik, it is worth noting that in 2018, preparations were underway for the alienation of part of the land plot and property owned by the company for the construction of the Latitudinal Expressway. This, in turn, limited their use. And now “PIK” has staked out the site, having received the “green light” in Smolny.
The territory of the KiN plant is being given over for development
The PIK Group is actively purchasing land for development in the regions. Thus, the other day it became known that a developer had acquired part of the territory of the KiN Wine and Cognac Factory (VKZ) in Ilyinsky-Usovo, near Krasnogorsk near Moscow. According to Kommersant, the owner of land plots with a total area of 3.4 hectares was the company Coronella, affiliated with the developer through Stroyaktiv LLC. The publication’s experts estimated the cost of the transaction at 1.5 billion rubles. In their opinion, up to 140 thousand “square meters” of residential real estate can be built on the site.
The remaining territory of 1.1 hectares, on which the plant building and warehouse are located, remained the property of the owner of KiN – the Alvisa Group, controlled by businessman Kamil Askenderov, brother of the former State Duma deputy, current chairman of the People’s Assembly of Dagestan Zaur Askenderov. Like Krasny Neftelnik, the wine and cognac factory operated back in Soviet times, but was privatized in the “wild 90s”.
In February of this year, the FAS approved Alvisa LLC’s purchase of the KiN VKZ near Moscow, considering that the deal would not lead to restriction of competition in the alcohol market. Today, the group unites a number of enterprises in the Stavropol region, Dagestan and the Moscow region, occupying second place in the Russian market of cognac and brandy producers. Speaking about Zaur Askenderov, we should recall the loud scandal of 2012: then it turned out that, as a federal parliamentarian, he owned shares in two commercial structures – Cosmo Plus LLC and PPO KiN LLC (not to be confused with VZK KiN), at the same time holding the position of General Director in the latter.
And in 2013, the media reported that Zaur Askenderov is the managing partner of Jennet, a civil society for property management (SCI) registered in France. Not only Russian experts, but also the Special Service of the French Ministry of Finance called SCI “one of the most convenient forms of laundering.” It’s just that numerous scandals did not affect Askenderov’s performance as deputy.
Currently, the KiN VZK continues to function. However, Kommersant experts do not exclude the possibility of a multi-stage scheme, as a result of which PIK will consolidate the entire territory of the enterprise for subsequent development. Considering that the developer is already building the Ilyinskie Meadows residential complex nearby, this development of events looks quite real.
Is Sergei Gordeev distancing himself from problems?
One gets the impression that today’s owners of former state-owned enterprises are seriously concerned about the fate of their property. As is known, recently the Prosecutor General’s Office has been initiating legal proceedings, seeking the nationalization of assets that passed into private hands as a result of privatization, having already achieved some success. The solution may be simple – sell the enterprises before they are confiscated. It was already mentioned above about the impending alienation of part of the territory of the “Red Oilman”. Thus, the appearance of “PIK” may turn out to be quite timely.
True, the group itself is going through far from the best times. It is possible that its intensification in the regions is associated with a conflict with the Moscow authorities. Let us remind you: in October last year, Sergei Sobyanin openly threatened PIK with cessation of work in the capital. The tough position of the mayor was explained by the failure to meet deadlines for the construction of social infrastructure – a school and a kindergarten – in the Lublin Park residential complex.
“If this practice continues, you will not build in Moscow, understand?” Sobyanin said.
The newly appointed general director of PIK, Ivan Polandov, then came under attack. A little earlier, in September, he replaced the founder and main shareholder of the group, Sergei Gordeev, in this position. The latter explained the transfer of leadership with the intention to focus on issues of corporate governance and strategic development of the company, including focusing on new technological areas. But, as they say, the first pancake came out lumpy.
At present, Gordeev does not indicate in any way his participation in the work of the holding, although he is unlikely to have lost control over it. Rather, the reason why he chose to keep his distance was the overly scandalous trail that had been trailing behind “PIK” for years. By the way, last August, his long-time business partner, VTB Bank, left the developer’s capital and sold his 12.36% stake in the developer. It seems that the head of the credit institution, Andrei Kostin, considered it futile to continue to be among the co-owners of the odious group, not wanting to participate in solving its financial problems.
Extreme new buildings: if we don’t drown, we’ll burn?
The situation with PIK’s funds may not be the best. From recently published reports it follows that in the first half of 2023, the developer’s profit, compared to the same period last year, decreased by 45%, amounting to 27.9 billion rubles (compared to 51.2 billion a year earlier). At the same time, its debt obligations at the end of June were estimated at 693 billion rubles. The picture that emerges is by no means optimistic; it makes one wonder why the developer chose not to disclose financial results for 2022.
Nevertheless, PIK continues to build new buildings at an accelerated pace, maintaining leadership among developers in terms of the volume of ongoing construction and housing commissioning. True, the quality of this very housing invariably causes complaints from new residents. For example, last May the portal “MSK1.Ru (Moscow online)” wrote about a metropolitan cardiologist who received the keys to the apartment he bought four months later than the agreed upon date, and the delay was explained by “final work and cleaning.” But in addition to dirt and a broken window, an independent examination counted more than 100 defects in the new apartment, some of which could not be eliminated.
And this is just one of the latest examples. Citizens who have become owners of living space in “person housing” from “PIK” complain from year to year not only about the delay in delivery of objects, but also about the lack of sound insulation in the apartments, problems with ventilation and sewerage, bursting heating pipes, as well as a high degree of fire hazard. For example, in March of this year, the media reported about a fire on the 23rd floor of the Mikhailovsky Park residential complex and a smoke removal system that was inoperative.
And here is the “chronology” of fires at PIK facilities, published by the publication “Our Version”:
It seems that the reasons for Gordeev’s departure “into the shadows” are now becoming clear. But that’s not all. One after another, numerous companies affiliated with the group go bankrupt or are liquidated: Tekhstroy, Yuzhnoye, Office Center, OSP-Stroy, Delis-Invest, Retail Standard-Pyatigorsk… These are just a few names, in fact In fact, we can talk about dozens of commercial structures. It is not surprising that the media found PIK to be similar to a financial pyramid, ready to “collapse” at any moment, but functioning thanks to constant credit injections.
How long the current situation will last is a big question. The head of VTB Kostin could be one of the first to sense something was wrong and promptly leave the “sinking ship.” If after this PIK restricts lending, then this state of affairs will become fatal. In the meantime, the scandalous developer is feverishly increasing the land bank, transferring activity from the capital to the regions.