Russian Sea Company, 30% of which is being sold to Gennady Timchenko’s Volga Resources fund, shows interest in the acquisition of ATF. The fund has established a joint venture on a parity basis with the company RS Group, owned by Maksim Vorobiev, the majority owner of Russian Sea. Partners will own approximately 61% of the fish company. The acquisition of ATF will be carried out through the joint venture because ATF requires large investments in modernization and meeting the fishing quotas allotted to it. Quotas given to ATF until 2017 would enable Timchenko to earn more than 1.5 billion dollars. Timchenko has already met with Yury Petrov, head of the Federal Property Agency, and confirmed his interest in acquiring the asset.
But Timchenko and his partners have rivals. Another company, Murmansk North-West Fishing Company, also has taken interest to the acquisition of ATF. So has the management of ATF, which is represented by Nikolay Yegorov, a fellow student of Vladimir Putin and founder and partner of law firm Yegorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners. Yegorov is acting on behalf of the management of ATF, which is interested in buying the company from the state. He is in friendly relations with Yuri Nikulin, CEO of ATF. ATF is a client of the law firm, which, in particular, represented the interests of the company in its bankruptcy case. If successful at the auction for the sale of ATF state owned stake, Yegorov may become chairman of the board of directors of the company and have a stake in it.
However, rivals may turn into partners. According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), at the beginning of this year, entities owned by Timchenko purchased Murmansk Commercial Seaport. It was the law firm Yegorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners that assisted in the acquisition, and one of the offshore companies belongs to Nikolay Yegorov.