Fish king: the true story of the new Russian billionaire

Fish king: the true story of the new Russian billionaire


Vitaly Orlov

Photo: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg

Thanks Bloomberg became aware of the emergence in Russia of a new dollar billionaires — Vitaly Orlov, whose business went up after Russia banned the import of fish. RBC tells his true story

At the end of January 2017, the Agency Bloomberg reported the appearance in Russia of a new dollar billionaire. Is the owner of the fishing company “Norebo holding” murmanchanin Vitaly Orlov, previously not covered in any of the known ratings largest business. According to the rating Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as Orlov has crossed the mark of $1 billion.

Dark horse

A native of Murmansk and the richest man in the region, Orlov remains a non-public person, even in the small regional centre where everyone seems to know about Orlov heard a few, even fewer people know him personally. The Museum’s main University city — University (in Soviet times Higher naval school), the Alma mater of a billionaire, there is no mention of the successful graduate, told RBC Director of the Museum Alexey Gurkin.

The main reason for the rise Orlov Bloomberg calls the Russian food counter-sanctions: the alleged ban on the import of European fish company Orlova increased shipments to Russia are mackerel and herring, and well this worked.

However, respondents RBC market participants call such an interpretation is untenable. They draw attention to the fact that because of the specificity of the fishing industry it is impossible to sharply increase supplies to the market — opportunities of mining companies is limited by their quota to fish. Besides the devaluation of the ruble put the fish on the domestic market is not too profitable, especially when there is a steady demand in foreign markets, where it is paid in a stable currency.

“Norebo holding” Orlov also talking about the lack of any breakthrough due to counter-sanctions. “The production of fish by enterprises of the holding in 2016 remained approximately at the level of 2015 — 530 thousand tons against 520 thousand In the far East, production increased, and in the Northern basin fell. So, the revenue increased, and then decreased”, — have informed RBC in the holding.

The Ministry of fisheries and agriculture of the Murmansk oblast government believe that the welfare Vitaly Orlov has nothing to do with import substitution.

In fact, in the field of view of the Bloomberg the businessman got thanks to a victory in the corporate conflict and to consolidate in his hands a controlling stake “Norebo holding” in 2016.

What “Norebo holding”

Today the group “Norebo” consists of 12 major fishing companies (Northwest and far East of Russia), which carry out fishing 39 fishing vessels (all owned by the holding company). The group “Norebo” also includes trading companies in Russia and abroad, the new modern fish processing plant in Murmansk region, cargo terminal “Seroglazka” (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky), as well as administrative and management companies. The holding employs about 3 thousand people, of which 2 thousand are the crews of the fishing vessels. The head office of the group “Norebo” is located in Murmansk. Financial performance the company did not disclose, according to media reports, in 2015, revenue was $600 million, Orlov in an interview to “Kommersant” talked about the profit of 25-35%.


In Soviet times, admission to the nautical school was admirable dream Murmansk youth. The most prestigious it was, navigation faculty. An enviable career captain was waiting for arrived at it in the mid-1980s, Vitaly Orlov and Alexander Tugusheva. They studied in different courses Tugushev two years older, but friends are still cadets. The collapse of the Soviet Union has made adjustments to my life plans of sailors and opened before them a brand new perspective.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg

Tugushev, after graduating, opened his own business fishing company, which owned several old freezer trawlers. The eagles went the other way — good knowledge of English helped him get a place in the Murmansk office of the Swedish company Scansea International. Scansea bought fish from Murmansk sailors, and then profitably sold it in Norway.

One of the suppliers of fish for Scansea became Alexander Tugushev. Business grew, and in 1997, the pals along with co-owner Scansea International Magnus Roth decided to create a new company — Ocean Trаwlers. Business calculation was based on the fact that the fishing fleet of the Russian companies was in a deplorable condition — new trawlers built, and the old Soviet inferior to the technical characteristics and equipment of the Norwegian courts. Registered in Norway Ocean Trаwlers began to deliver to Russia the Norwegian trawlers for bareboat Charter agreements (the lease of a vessel without a team), receiving in return finished products — fish fillet.

“We have actively developed such activity as searching for good ships of the Norwegian buildings. We implemented a sophisticated scheme for the financing and purchase of these vessels and their sale to our suppliers on the terms long installment,” said Orlov in an interview to “Kommersant” in 2015.

According to the former head of the Union rybopromyshlennikov the North Gennady, Stepahno, this scheme brought the new company a profit. “Eagles, using the fact that the Murmansk companies had no connections, no experience, at half the price bought our fish and sold it around the world” — describes the situation of those years, Stepahno.

Among strangers

In 1998, the owners of Ocean Trawlers have been established by the Russian holding company “Carat”, which was fishing. Version Tugusheva, 33% received the eagles Mouth, 34% went to him. The investigation subsequently instituted criminal proceedings (testimony of its members is at the disposal of RBC) Tugushev said agreement the parties allegedly secured the agreement in English, the original of which only one copy remains in the custody of Orlov, to whom he is as a friend fully trusted.

Orlov was responsible for the procurement, funding and General cooperation with the counterparties, Mouth — for sale, financing and management, Tugushev for the provision of a quota of its own fleet and partners.

Access quotas has always been a key factor in the fishing business in Russia. Every year the state authorities of the countries involved in the fishery and the fish, on the basis of research and other factors determine the marginal rate of catch of specific fish species. Until 2003, 60% of quotas in Russia were distributed to local authorities, 40% were enrolled in Federal auctions.

This scheme provoked corruption and involvement in the business of criminal structures. In particular, with the distribution of fish quotas the consequence connected resonant murder of the Magadan Governor Valentin Tsvetkov in Moscow in 2002. It accelerated the process of reviewing the allocation of fish quotas: since the beginning of 2003 was actively discussed upcoming changes in the industry, the decisive role in which was given to the state fisheries Committee. Under the new rules, it is the Agency was to allocate quotas for five straight years on the “historical principle” — based on the production figures for the three previous years.

Alexander Tugushev considered that in the conditions of radical changes to the rules of the game is to keep your finger on the pulse. In September 2003 he moved to the civil service, becoming the Deputy head of the state fisheries Committee.

As an entrepreneur got the job? “At that time the activities of the fish agencies was accompanied by scandals. Heads and deputies has varied rapidly, for anybody not a secret that to buy the position was possible without any problems,” — says RBC Valery Yarantsev, captain of the trawler Elektron, who became famous after the pursuit of its ship Norwegian fishing inspectors were in live TV.

Becoming an officer, Tugushev was forced to go out of business and to sell its stake in the holding. Now he claims that the departure was formal: he designed his stock on nominal holders.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg

Orlov’s another version, which is set out in the investigation. According to him, the partner has left the civil service, receiving for his shares $30 million, so then cost one third of “Carat”. The money was transferred to these Tugusheva account, Orlov says.

Not worked in the state fisheries Committee and the year, Tugushev was a defendant in a criminal case. The far Eastern company “Polluks” appealed to law enforcement agencies, stating that the official promised to allocate quotas on vylov 50 thousand tons of fish products, for which he received $3.7 million in cash. Quote “Pollux” and has not received. In June 2004 Tugushev was arrested, he was charged with fraud, and in February 2005 the Tver court of Moscow sentenced him to six years imprisonment.

Fish expansion

Released in late 2009, Tugushev immediately met with his companion and friend Vitaly Orlov, who brought him into the business. Formally, the post is Not called “Advisor”, but he argues that actually presided over the holding of Russia — Orlov and Mouth constantly lived abroad.

After the return is Not “Karat” began to actively buy up assets, especially as the offers on the market was enough. The most important factor in the choice of objects was not the size of its fleet, and the presence of “historical” ranges.

“The owners of fishing enterprises of different reasons for selling the business. Mostly they are purely economic. Depreciation of vessels is suitable to zero, the repair is not everyone wants or is able to do. Here are sold each year one or two of the company”, — told RBC Vladimir Grigoriev, the General Director of number of companies included in the “Norebo holding”.

In the 2010s, the holding company began the expansion in the far East. In 2011 the partners bought the family eks-the Governor of Primorski Krai Sergey Darkin, the company “Roliz” (according to “Kommersant”, for $50 million) and a majority (53,24%) Kamchatka “ACROS”, the transaction price amounted to nearly $100 million In 2012-2013 by them in the far East was acquired by the company “Magadanryba”, “East coast” and “Sakhalin leasing fleet”, which had more than 160 thousand tons of quotas for the catch of Alaska Pollock (15% of the total Russian volume).

In the Northern basin quota “CT” on the cod doubled after the purchase of a controlling stake “Tralflota”. It is the oldest enterprise of the industry in the Murmansk region, founded in March 1920. Shortly before this transaction, “Tralflot” bought for 122 million rubles from the government of the Murmansk region 26% of shares of JSC “Murmansk provincial fleet”, created in the late 1990s. “I believe that the sale of these shares was a short-sighted policy of the Governor Dmitry Dmitrienko, — told RBC former head of JSC “Murmansk provincial fleet” Stanislav Nikanorov. — Dmitrienko believed that money, albeit small, in the budget it is better to get now than to develop the enterprise”.

Finally, in 2016, the assets of “Carat” in the North was supplemented by the company “Karelian seafood”, with about 6.8 thousand tons of quota to catch fish. Paid for it about $60 million, knows the Director of the fishing company “Northern merchant” Roman Kulik.

For the purchase of all assets took more than $600 million in mostly loans of the savings Bank. Since 2005, has implemented about 15 joint projects with “Norebo holding,” said senior Vice-President of the savings Bank Anatoly Popov. Net debt of the holding company at the end of 2015 the media was evaluated at $450 million.

The end of friendship

“Norebo holding” — this became the spearhead of the group since 2013 Vitaly Orlov was 67%, 33% remained with the Company. Tugushev claims that Orlov has repeatedly promised to return him to a third company, which he “deposited” while I was the state fisheries Committee and then sat, but it did not move from the dead point.

The conflict was inevitable. In February 2013 the eagles is Not removed from the management of the holding, and he aggressively began to demand the return of the shares. As follows from the materials of the investigating authorities, the eagles offered the partner a kind of compromise solution. Tugushev during the investigation, outlined the terms of a compromise — partner allegedly offered him $60 million But he Tugushev have rated it much higher — $350 million, In case of refusal he was willing to buy a share of Orlova in the company for the same amount.

These conditions were also proposed in November 2015, representatives Not at the meeting with lawyers Orlov of lawyer Bureau “Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and partners” (EPAM). In case of disagreement, the representatives promised Not to transfer a corporate dispute in a criminal plane, and also to attract influential people. Sound, in particular, the names of businessman Ilya Traber, also known as antique Dealer (responsible for control of seaports from the “Tambov” OPG St. Petersburg), as well as the Deputy of the state Duma, the President of Chechnya Adam Delimkhanov.

“Representatives of Not at our meeting stated that he appealed to them to the unknown wealthy person who asked Delimkhanov and Traber to resolve the current conflict”, — told investigators the lawyer Yuri Savvin. Another representative EPAM — Arkady Krasnikhin, telling the investigator a conversation with representatives Tugusheva, says that they described people’s Deputy Delimkhanov as “using a weapon when solving problems and remaining unpunished.”

Again, the arrest

However, the eagles offer was not accepted. Then Tugushev filed to law enforcement agencies of the Murmansk region the statement about the theft of his stock, putting the audio recordings of their conversations with Orlov, which he allegedly confirmed the right of the former partner to claim a third of the assets.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg

Confirm the facts stated in the statement is Not, not found, but according to his lawyers, Bepips in the Murmansk region the test is still continues.

Vitaly Orlov also appealed to law enforcement agencies. He applied to the Investigative Committee, accusing the ex-partner in extortion. In April 2016 SC refused Orlov in a criminal case, however, at the end of the year Tugushev was arrested.

The reason for the detention was recorded Orlov threatening phone calls received on his cell phone. According to investigators, at the request of Not Orlov called an unemployed resident of Chechnya Malady of Dzhamaldaev. The caller seemed “Kent Sasha is Not,” and promised to “pull the legs” and “cut into pieces” Orlov and his family members if he did not rewrite action. Dzhamaldaev was placed in jail, and Tugushev under house arrest in his Moscow apartment. From 25 March, the court released him on recognizance not to leave.

“Our client was not even questioned, the prosecution is based solely on the testimony of Jamadaeva, no other evidence of his guilt is not”, — told RBC Daria Konstantinova, attorney Tugusheva.

“I’m sorry that the history of relations between two representatives of the fishing community came out to the public, this is a very sad fact,” — told RBC Director of the Murmansk company “Murmanseld-2” Yury zadvorny.

The winner

After the removal is Not from the management of the Russian business “Norebo” Vitaly Orlov moved to his home in Murmansk. The beginning of the “sanctions war” he denied Norwegian citizenship and, according to its representatives, personally appealed to the FAS and tax with a request to check the purity of all transactions of the holding by buying up assets. “All transactions were eventually approved as legitimate,” — told RBC Vladimir Grigoriev, the General Director of several companies included in the “Norebo holding”.

In 2016, the eagles are also bought in the holding proportion of the Magnus Company, becoming the sole owner of “Norebo holding”. According to heads of the enterprises of the holding, he is now actively involved in the management of the company, they agreed with him weekly, its strategy and tactics define yourself. However, the period of active expansion is over, now plans to acquire a new fishing companies the holding is not.

However, for Orlov’s leisure time still remains. “Vitaly grew up skiing in Murmansk and Kirovsk, which grew into a hobby. Now permanently living in Murmansk, he has a good opportunity to practice active winter sports,” — said RBC Sergey Sennikov, the Vice-Vitaly Orlov in the management company of the holding.

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