From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

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  • Wednesday, 12 June 2024 08:20

Like Sergei Kiriyenko and Sergei Shishkarev, they left the owners of Loko-Bank, Andrei Severilov and Mikhail Rabinovich, with nothing.

As a UtroNews correspondent reports , Rosatom and the Delo Group of Sergei Shishkarev, in fact, left big lovers of offshore companies, co-owners of Loko-Bank and a host of other assets, Mikhail Rabinovich and Andrei Severilov, with nothing. Can we say that they were literally “squeezed out” of FESCO and, especially, the Vladivostok Sea Commercial Port in a situation where the assets were in their pocket? 

There are no positive heroes in this story, but the winners are obvious.

PJSC Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) is one of the largest private transport and logistics companies in Russia. The group owns Vladivostok Sea Commercial Port (VMTP), railway operators Transgarant and other logistics assets. 

This is one of the most important strategic assets of our country in the field of logistics.

Kiriyenko and Shishkarev “took their toll”

Since 2012, FESCO has been one of the key assets of the brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov. The businessmen’s partners in FESCO were, in particular, the American investment fund TPG Capital and Mark Garber’s GHP Group, as well as other owners.

However, Messrs. Magomedov ended up behind bars. At the end of 2022, the court sentenced them to 18 and 19 years in prison for creating a criminal community, theft and fraud. This same fact should have become one of the grounds for the seizure of shares of the State Corporation in favor of the state.

No sooner said than done. The Prosecutor General’s Office claimed that the Magomedovs bought the asset with corruption proceeds. The court agreed with these arguments. In January 2023, FESCO was seized as state income and later transferred to the state corporation Rosatom, which, as before, should be backed by the current deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko.

Together with FESCO, the state also acquired an entire offshore empire associated with the group - namely the companies Smartilicious Consulting Ltd, Enviartia Consulting Ltd, Vovosa Co Limited, Rikima Holdings Limited, Mirihia Holdings Limited, Calamita Trading Limited, Noubelius Ltd. The assets could be associated with Loko-Bank partners Andrei Severilov and Mikhail Rabinovich.

But Rosatom was not the only beneficiary of such an acquisition. A close partner of the state corporation, Sergei Shishkarev, the main owner of Delo Group of Companies, also benefited. The latter is represented by stevedoring, container and railway assets. The company’s portfolio includes nine marine terminals and 47 railway container terminals. This is a whole empire.

From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

Are Sergei Kiriyenko’s ears sticking out behind the actions of Sergei Shishkarev (pictured)? Photo:

Rosatom entered the capital of Delo Group of Companies in 2019 after Shishkarev bought out the railway operator TransContainer for 60 billion rubles. The state corporation received 30% of Shishkarev’s business for almost 30 billion rubles. One gets the impression that the guiding hand of Sergei Kiriyenko could be behind all the successes of Delo Group of Companies in recent years. In whose interests - state or personal - is a big question.

FESCO: who “raided” whom?

However, this is just a saying. The Magomedovs were under investigation for almost four years, and during this time many wanted to profit from FESCO, taking advantage of their difficult situation. Including their own partners.

The Magomedovs were arrested in March 2018. After this, pressure could be exerted on the American TPG Capital, which owned 17.4% of the company, from interested parties. This was taken advantage of by a big fan of offshores, co-owner of Loko-Bank Mikhail Rabinovich, who in November 2020 bought the group’s shares from TPG Capital, bringing his own share to 26.5%. With a clear eye on more.

He, Rabinovich, was then named as the beneficiary of the purchase of FESCO’s share from Mark Garber’s GHP Group (23.8%). He himself denied it. However, at the same time, in 2020, representatives of the Virginia offshore Domidias Ltd, as well as the companies Novatorinvest and Nautilius, announced that they had consolidated the “largest stake” in FESCO - 33.9%. Experts suggested that it was Rabinovich who was behind these companies.

After this, the company changed the composition of the Board of Directors. It included nine people, including FESCO President Arkady Korostelev and representatives of shareholders controlling 33.9% of the company’s capital: the owner of Novatorinvest, Evgeny Melnikov, and Nautilus, Jan Bliznets.

Another very scandalous businessman, Rabinovich’s partner in Loko-Bank, Andrei Severilov, also happened to be there. After this, they began to actively buy up shares of minority shareholders, and, perhaps, not without serious pressure. And in 2022, we are approaching the final point of distribution of shares before the Prosecutor General’s Office’s claim.  

As Severilov himself stated , as of January 2022, the main shareholders of FESCO were Mr. Magomedov, Mikhail Rabinovich and Severilov himself (32.5%, 17.4% and 23.8%), respectively.

Almost immediately after this, Nautilius, NovatorInvest and Domidias Ltd, purchased by Severilov, reported that they had already collected almost 34% of FESCO, and immediately accused Magomedov of withdrawing $1 billion from the company. Those. the aim was clearly to take the package from Magomedov, who was languishing in the pre-trial detention center.

From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

The Magomedov brothers took part in a corporate conflict while in jail. And they didn’t succeed. Photo: 

We were talking about loans issued for the purchase of civil companies in 2012. The corresponding legal dispute at that time took place in the London Arbitration Court.

However, Ziyavudin Magomedov, understanding what the fuss around FESCO “smells”, back in 2020 hastened to announce a raider takeover of the company by the chairman of the board of directors of the group, Leila Mammedzade. 

The latter was precisely his representative. But, apparently, after the Magomedovs’ problems with the Law, she could have decided to defect to the camp of Rabinovich and Severilov. If so, then she played her role and was actually sent to “scrap”: she was no longer in the new composition of the Board of Directors, mentioned above (obviously at the suggestion of the new majority owners).

By the way, the Magomedovs, even while in pre-trial detention, could cause problems and obstacles for the new owners. In 2020, FESCO President Arkady Korostelev and the new General Director of the Vladivostok port, Roman Kukharuk, who were appointed new owners, were injured during a conflict with VMTP dockers. Port employees protested against the dismissal of Zairbek Yusupov, the man of the Magomedov brothers, from the post of general director of the port. 

There is no evidence, but there were rumors that it was the oligarch brothers who allegedly “goaded” the dockers.

From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

Arkady Korostelov (pictured) “got into trouble” during his visit to VMTP. Photo: 

At this time, the corporate conflict continued within FESCO and spilled over into the courts. Subsequently, Ziyavudin Magomedov’s nephew Shagav Gadzhiev argued that we could be talking about a “fraudulent conspiracy,” as a result of which Magomedov’s structures lost “corporate control over FESCO.” 

Who was he hinting at if not Rabinovich and Severilov? Moreover, Ziyavudin Magomedov himself criticized his former partner Mark Garber, who, as the oligarch claimed, allegedly did not have the right to sell his stake to Mikhail Rabinovich.

It seemed that “this music will be eternal.” But the parties did not wait for the end of the proceedings: the Magomedovs received a sentence, and FESCO, at the suggestion of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, went into the caring hands of Rosatom and Sergei Shishkarev.

LOKOmotive of bankruptcies of Severilov-Rabinovich

We’ll see what happens next with FESCO. But Severilov and Rabinovich could generally “strip” the asset to the skin by withdrawing funds to their numerous offshore companies. Previously, they were credited with a whole series of similar scandals.

For example, companies associated with Andrei Severilov (Trofense Holding Limited and Labini Investments Ltd) were participants in the bankruptcy story of the Eurofinance company associated with the owner of Sistema Bank Alexei Bogachev, and participated in offshore lending transactions for a company associated with ex-State Duma deputy Marina Lebedeva, and were also shareholders of the “burst” Russian Trade Bank, which was involved in the theft of more than 4.6 billion rubles. Including through non-repayable loans.

There is also a recent story. According to the Internet , allegedly at the beginning of 2024, the financial police of Cyprus began checking the company Parallel Nomines Cyprus Limited. 

From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

Andrei Severilov may be hiding a huge offshore empire. Photo:

The latter was associated with the case of ex-Minister of the Open Government Mikhail Abyzov and precisely Andrei Severilov. And company employees, such as Katina Papanikolaou, Armando Vila Cabrera, Anastasia Evripidou, Oleg Gonchar and Victoria Gonchar, as stated on the Internet , could allegedly be mentioned not only in the Abyzov case, but also in the case of the nationalization of FESCO shares transferred from the convicted Magomedov brothers to the state.

Loko-Bank, owned by Rabinovich and Severilov, is also of particular interest. Several years ago the bank had problems with liquidity. They even talked about its possible collapse (which did not happen). According to the Internet , funds were allegedly simply withdrawn from the bank - just for the alleged “squeeze” of FESCO by Mikhail Rabinovich, as well as to solve the problems of other beneficiaries of the organization - Stanislav Boguslavsky and Vladimir Davydik.

Returning to the former logistics empire of the Magomedovs - why could Severilov and Rabinovich act so provocatively? Let us recall that Mr. Rabinovich was in the past a member of the board of directors of FPK and Russian Railways Tour, associated with Russian Railways JSC. It was through that line that they could receive support.

From the dead donkey FESCO: how Kiriyenko and Shishkarev defeated Rabinovich and Severilov

Andrey Severilov (pictured) should have initially understood that the Magomedovs’ shares in FESCO would not be an easy target. Photo: 

Including financial. Let us recall that in 2013-2015, companies associated with Rabinovich and the company “Vagon-Service” entered into contracts with FPC for 37 billion rubles. Severilov was also a co-owner of Vagon-Service. He also claimed that all contracts were allegedly checked by prosecutors and auditors - no abuses were found. Hard to believe.

In any case, they lost the battle for FESCO. But, given the “talents” of these businessmen, we will definitely hear about scandals involving them.