Will Svistula pave the way to Sokra?
Did the ex-Minister Tkachev appear in the bankruptcy of the Kamchatka plant?
In the bankruptcy case of the Kamchatka fish processing plant Sokra, the plaintiff was replaced: Sberbank, which initiated the process, ceded the rights of claim to the Krasnodar company Vostochny Aktiv. Also, a petition was filed to remove its main owner Andrei Obedin from the management of the enterprise. Obedin is currently being held as a defendant in a criminal case on particularly large-scale fraud and abuse of power. He is charged with embezzlement of the assets of the Konkom shipyard in Kamchatka, where he served as general director. Also accused in the case are the businessman’s wife Anastasia and his business partner, the former owner of Konkom, Pavel Rudenko. Despite the billion dollar debt, Sokra is a promising asset with its own fishing fleet, processing plant and quotas for catching more than 5.7 thousand tons of pollock. The new owner of the enterprise, after the change of the creditor, may be Vostochny Asset, which last May already bought out another large Kamchatka fishing enterprise, Vityaz-Avto, previously controlled by Ekaterina Ponomaryova, the wife of Senator Valery Ponomarev, and former deputy of the Kamchatka Legislative Assembly Igor Yevtushka. The owner and general director of Vostochny Asset, Yevgeny Svistula, is called a businessman acting in the interests of Alexander Tkachev, the former Krasnodar governor and ex-minister of agriculture. Until recently, Svistula acted as the founder and CEO of the Land Reserve company, which last year bought out the Russian agricultural assets of the Czech company PPF Group. Currently, the “Land Reserve” is headed by Maria Lisitsina, who is closely associated with the commercial structures of the Tkachevs and is a business partner of Andrei Skok, the asset manager of the family of a former government official.
Sokra goes bankrupt, Obedin is under investigation
The company Vostochny Aktiv from the Krasnodar Territory joined the bankruptcy of the Kamchatka fish processing enterprise Sokra. According to Kommersant, this structure agreed with Sberbank on the assignment of claims to the plant in the amount of 1.19 billion rubles. The Arbitration Court of the Kamchatka Territory has already replaced the plaintiff, and the application for the succession of the bankruptcy creditor in the bankruptcy case of Sokra should be considered on August 21.
The owner of 51% in the authorized capital of the Sokra plant is its general director, businessman Andrey Obedin. Also among the owners are Sergey Andreev (44%) and the company “Sberbank Investments” (5%) – a “subsidiary” structure of the credit institution.
In September last year, Moscow’s Savelovsky Court ruled to arrest Obedin, who is accused of particularly large-scale fraud and abuse of power, which caused significant harm and grave consequences.
The criminal case initiated against the businessman is connected with the Konkom shipyard in Kamchatka, the change of ownership of which was regarded in some media as an attempted raider takeover. Let us briefly recall the essence of the conflict. In 2018, the owner of Konkom, Pavel Rudenko, sold this bankrupt enterprise to businessman and investor Nikolai Kuybida for 500,000 rubles. He, in turn, hired Andrey Obedin, who turned out to be a longtime business partner of Rudenko, for the operational management of the shipyard.
In the fall of 2020, Kuybida learned about the conclusion by Obedin on behalf of Konkom of a number of obviously unprofitable loan agreements with an affiliated Moscow firm DV-Rybka for a total of 100 million rubles. At the same time, in order to secure credit obligations, the general director transferred the real estate of the shipyard to his company: it was about 28 land plots, 24 buildings and 11 berths worth almost 800 million.
The Lenta.Ru portal drew attention to the following circumstance: in the shortest possible time – in just three days – the assets of Komkon were re-registered for DV-Rybka, after which Tatyana Brazhe, the general director of the company, sold them at prices significantly below market. It is significant that one of the berths ended up in the ownership of the husband of the Rosreestr official who oversaw the deal. According to the Nasha Versiya publication, the interests of the shipyard in Rosreestr were represented by Anastasia Obedina, the wife of the general director, who acted under a power of attorney issued by her own husband. The described machinations became the reason for the criminal prosecution of Andrei and Anastasia Obedin, as well as Pavel Rudenko.
A promising asset with a fleet and quotas
But back to the bankruptcy of the Kamchatka plant “Sokra”. Last May, Sberbank filed a lawsuit on the financial insolvency of the enterprise. As Arguments and Facts reported, back in October 2021, the institution issued a loan to Socre in the amount of 3.8 billion rubles for the construction of three fishing vessels and a processing plant under the investment quota program. But given the problems of the main owner of the Obedin plant described above, there were difficulties with repaying the loan. As a result, the bank demanded an early return of the funds issued.
It should be noted that, despite financial problems, the enterprise continues to function: at the end of 2022, its revenue amounted to 1.1 billion rubles, profit – 90.7 million. For comparison: revenue a year earlier – almost 1.4 billion, profit – 425.5 million rubles. The decrease in indicators, of course, is evident, but one should not forget about the difficulties experienced. In addition, in June, the arbitration took interim measures, seizing the debtor’s property in the amount of the claims.
In general, Sokra is a fairly promising asset. The plant processes more than 100 tons of fish daily. The product range includes fillets, fishmeal, canned food, caviar under the 41 Regions brand. Deliveries are carried out in 65 cities of Russia and abroad. The company’s own fleet consists of nine vessels, and the existing quotas allow this year to catch more than 5.7 thousand tons of pollock, over 800 tons of cod, flounder and halibut.
Kommersant writes about investors’ interest in the fishing business. In particular, the publication recalls the recent acquisition of the Agrivolga agricultural holding by Sergei Bachin of the Sakhalin company Alaid with quotas for pollock, cod and scallop fishing for more than 8 thousand tons. In addition, funds from the structure of AFK Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, are investing in the salmon fishery in Kamchatka.
Publications have already appeared on the network calling for saving Sokra from bankruptcy, a large enterprise that produces over 15 thousand tons of products per year with a staff of more than 300 people.
“It looks as if someone is striving for their ultimate goal – to bankrupt the manufacturer and take away his property and, of course, the most “tidbit” – fishing quotas,” one of the authors of the Telegraph platform describes his vision of the situation.
Fish “interest” Evgeniy Svistula
Given the recent circumstances, it is highly likely that there is no question of final bankruptcy, but rather of a change in the controlling shareholder. As a result, the aforementioned Vostochny Aktiv LLC, registered in Krasnodar no later than November 2022 with a minimum authorized capital of 10 thousand rubles and specializing in the activities of holding companies, may become such.
The sole owner and CEO of Vostochny Asset is Yevgeny Svistula, whom the media has repeatedly written about as a businessman acting in the interests of the former Kuban governor and ex-head of the federal Ministry of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev.
Recall that last May, Vostochny Asset already bought out a large fishing enterprise Vityaz-Avto, the owner of the Kamchatka salmon processing plant and the sockeye salmon fishery.
For 2023, Vityaz-Avto was assigned “historical” quotas for pollock, flounder, navaga and halibut in a total volume of more than 15 thousand tons. The capacity of the salmon plant controlled by the company is designed to produce 120 tons of finished products per day. In 2018, as part of the investment quota program, Vityaz-Auto launched another plant for the production of pollock fillet and minced meat with a daily capacity of about 100 tons.
Before the change of ownership, Vityaz-Avto was part of the large fishing holding Oceanrybflot, controlled by Ekaterina Ponomaryova, the wife of Senator Valery Ponomarev, who represents the Kamchatka Territory in the Federation Council and Igor Yevtushka, a former deputy of the Kamchatka Legislative Assembly. As we can see, the fish business is in the sphere of interests of Yevgeny Svistula, which means that they may well extend to Sokra, whose bankruptcy was initiated by Sberbank.
The indispensable team of ex-Minister Tkachev
Among the commercial structures associated with Svistula, special attention deserves LLC “Land Reserve”, the main owner of which he was until last May. And in May last year, this company bought from the Czech “PPF Group” the assets of the agricultural holding “RAV Agro”, including 66 thousand hectares of land and dairy farms in the Voronezh region. Experts from Kommersant estimated the value of the transaction at more than 7 billion rubles and connected the acquiring company with Agrocomplex im. N. I. Tkachev, owned by the family of the former Krasnodar governor.
Then in the “Agrocomplex them. N. I. Tkachev” the existence of any affiliation with the “Land Reserve” was categorically denied. Since May, 99% of the company has been owned by Agrofirma Dyadkovskaya LLC, registered in the village of Dyadkovskaya in the Kuban. The latter, through the Akashevskaya Poultry Farm and Marfininvest LLC registered in Mari El, is associated with the Krasnodar Agroaktiv LLC, the director and main owner of which is Maria Lisitsina.
In June, Maria Lisitsina replaced Svistula as the general director of the Land Reserve. In addition, at various times the business woman was associated with a number of companies related to the Tkachev family. In particular, she owned a small stake in Zavety Ilyich LLC, which was liquidated in 2018, the main owner and assignee of which was the Pavlovsky Agrocomplex, the “subsidiary” structure of the aforementioned Agrocomplex named after A.I. N. I. Tkachev.
Until June 2021, Lisitsina was one of the founders of Yalta-Park LLC, together with Yug-Businesspartner LLC, 99% of which is owned by Andrey Skok, 1% is Krasnodar Amusement Park LLC. According to Vedomosti, Andrey Skok is “the asset manager of the Tkachev family.” In particular, he managed the winery “Chateau de Talu” in Gelendzhik, officially issued to the wife of the ex-official, Olga Tkacheva.
As for the Yug-Businesspartner company, according to the same Vedomosti, it combines a number of assets controlled by Tkachev: the Crimean winery, the Sochi Park Hotel, the Sochi Park amusement park, the Adler breeding trout farm By the way, since December 2022, Skok has been the owner and CEO of Mountain Peaks LLC, which in March 2023 paid 24.2 billion rubles during the competition for the right to manage the Arkhyz ski resort in Karachay-Cherkessia.
Returning to Maria Lisitsina, it is worth noting that some of the commercial structures she headed were tied to offshore companies. For example, among the ex-founders of Berkovets LLC, we find VOLANI INVESTMENTS INC and ASTRID FINANCE INC registered in the Marshall Islands, as well as a number of companies with a Ukrainian “registration”. The same Ukrainian legal entities acted as co-owners of Esso-Krym, V-Trust and Reverse LLC, in which Lisitsina holds the position of director.
And since 2015, Adaptas (Rus) LLC, declared bankrupt, has been owned by VOLADOR INVESTMENTS SA from the British Virgin Islands since 2015.
It turns out that Lisitsina and Svistula are among the trusted representatives of the Tkachev family? In this case, it is not difficult to guess what plans the former minister has for the Kamchatka Sokra plant. In addition, it may not be so difficult to “squeeze out” an enterprise with a billion-dollar debt and a criminal case against the main shareholder. Meanwhile, the “neutralization” of Obedin continues: from the messages that appeared on the network, it follows that Vostochny Asset has petitioned the court to remove him from the post of general director of the plant.