The Russian chain of goods stores could come to the “taste” of Senator Suleiman Kerimov and the head of Sberbank German Gref.
The board of directors of the children’s goods retailer Detsky Mir (DM) will consider the issue of reorganizing the structure into a private company. This procedure involves the sale of PJSC shares for shareholders who have not transferred to the LLC.
About what interests German Gref and Suleiman Kerimov may have in this story – in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.
Change of “Pole”
Until September 8, 2020, the main owners of Detsky Mir were AFK Sistema Vladimir Yevtushenkov and the Russian-Chinese Investment Fund (RCIF). But then they sold the stakes they owned. The buyers were international investment funds from the UK and the USA.
At the beginning of 2021, former top managers of the Polyus gold mining company (which is associated with Suleiman Kerimov) Pavel Grachev and Stiskin became the main owners of the fund, which owns Detsky Mir).
According to RBC, it is they, as well as Sberbank, under the leadership of German Gref, who currently control Detsky Mir.
Mr Gref and his respect
Interestingly, before joining Polyus, Mikhail Stiskin worked as managing director of the investment company Sberbank CIB, the investment division of Sberbank. He led the market analysis department of companies in the mining and metallurgical sector and the fertilizer sector.
In 2019, the Detsky Mir retail chain for the sale of children’s goods agreed to buy the Valdai shopping center on Novy Arbat in Moscow, which was previously pledged by Sberbank. And in February, there was one interesting insider deal, as a result of which Sber (SBER) became a shareholder of Detsky Mir with a share of more than 19%. Coincidence?
It turns out that Stiskin is close to both Gref and Suleimanov. And the relationship between the latter is pretty good.
Back in 2017, German Oskarovich said in an interview with the Financial Times that he respects the Russian senator for his charitable projects and business successes and believes that he deserves special treatment from the French authorities.
The words were spoken in support when Kerimov was detained in Nice. He was charged with money laundering and tax evasion, which he allegedly committed by buying villas on the Cote d’Azur at a reduced price and on dummies.
And in 2021, Senator Suleiman Kerimov and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of the Russian Federation German Gref paid a working visit to Derbent and looked at how work is underway to erect a fountain.
Figured out for three
The fact that the main shareholders Pavlel Grachev and Mikhail Stiskin can work in the interests of Senator Kerimov is also said by their joint asset Satevis LLC. The company is engaged in the lease and management of its own or leased non-residential real estate. The founders there previously listed Oksana Volkova, she is now a director in the company.
Note that they are all connected by the Nafta-Moscow investment holding, created by Suleiman Kerimov. From 2006 to 2011, the managing director there was none other than Grachev. And the manager, according to the information service Rusprofile, was Volkova. It is unlikely that such a strong tandem separated from Kerimov and develops on its own.
There is no room for competitors
Apparently, the structures of Suleiman Kerimov took up DM very firmly.
The fact that in October of this year, there was a dispute between the structures of the Hals-Development company and the Russian franchise of the international network Hamleys JSC Vanderkind, which is part of the Ideas4retail of billionaire Alexander Mamut. Hamleys, which was opened in the territories of the “Children’s World.”
In the same October, Hamleys received a notice of termination of the lease and the need to vacate the occupied space within two weeks.
In case of non-compliance with the requirements, the owner of the shopping center threatened to take out and dispose of the tenant’s property. Now a businessman, has achieved interim measures for 7 thousand square meters of retail space rented in the Central Children’s Store on Lubyanka.
Hals Development is associated with the structure of VTB Andrei Kostin. And you can talk a lot about cooperation between VTB and Suleiman Kerimov structures for a long time. For example, Suleiman Kerimov, through controlled offshore companies, allegedly owned about 4% of VTB Bank shares.
Something else is interesting here. The relationship between Mamut, Kerimov and German Gref, who heads Sberbank, has been going on for a long time. Back in 2013, PIK owner Sergei Gordeev and at that time his business partner in this company Mamut acquired 16.02% and 19.9% of PIK shares from the structures of the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation, which Mamut subsequently got rid of. In 2017, Mamut acquired the Cinema Park cinema chain from Suleiman Kerimov’s structures.
However, a little later, Trust Bank began to ask Mamut for debts that the credit institution got from Otkrytie. Cinema Park also fell under the “distribution.” Mamut is said to have blamed everyone but himself for this situation. Including our heroes. They decided not to “drown” the businessman and in 2019 46.5% of the Rambler Group (by that time it included Rambler & Co and the Okko online cinema) was bought by Sberbank for 11 billion rubles. And then Mamut was “given” more money by bringing the stake in Rambler to controlling. However, there is talk that Mamut was unhappy and continued to blame his comrades for everything. Rumor has it that the matter was close to conflict.
In this regard, it would be clear why Mamut structures are “squeezed out” of DM.
If the structures close to Gref and Kerimov are really the main interests of DM, then the reason for its reorganization is also understood. The company will cease to be public and will become an ordinary LLC, where everything is under control. In addition, this will save the company from Western sanctions. On the other hand, Sberbank’s structures compensate for their possible losses from Mamut’s “salvation.”
Kerimov’s possible interest in DM is also quite understandable. After all, “non-core” assets are long delayed in his hands, or the hands of his representatives, and are resold at a more favorable price.