Russians from Russians: Who are buyers of Sberbank's subsidiary in Ukraine

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

March 27, Russian "Sberbank" announced the sale of a 100% stake in its Ukrainian subsidiary. The sale of the subsidiary bank was preceded by NBU sanctions and blocking its branches throughout the country
16:08, 29 March 2017

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To purchase the Ukrainian subsidiary of Sberbank, an investment consortium was established, and Said Gutseriev, a British citizen, and the Belarusian company, which he owns, whose name is not known, became its majority shareholder.

Said Gutseriev is the son of RussNeft owner and one of the richest businessmen of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Gutseriev. The billionaire left Russia in 2007 and lived in London. A criminal case was opened against him regarding illegal entrepreneurship, as well as tax evasion and money laundering. In 2010, the case was closed, and he returned to Russia.

Related: National Bank of Ukraine has not yet received Ukrainian Sberbank purchase notice

Norvik Banka reported that Said Gutseriev graduated from London's Harrow School and Oxford University, worked for Glencore, one of the world's largest companies. And now Said is engaged in direct investments projects in various spheres of the economy around the world.

Gutseriev Jr. is also the general director of "Forteinvest" company, which handles the processing of crude oil and the sale of petroleum products. The company is the main shareholder and partner of the refinery of OAO Orsknefteorgsintez.


Said Gutseriev

Gutseriev said that "all the consortium participants make a very far-sighted and profitable investment, and this will allow the bank to take a big step forward and implement many advanced projects not only in Ukraine but also in neighboring countries of Europe."

Related: Central office of Sberbank unblocked in Kyiv

Another participant of the consortium is the Latvian Norvik Banka. Its main shareholder is a British citizen Grigory Guselnikov, who previously held the post of president of Binbank. Guselnikov in 2013 acquired 50% +1 share of the Latvian Norvik Banka. As a result, Guselnikov increased his stake in the capital to 83.63%.

By the way, Guselnikov is a regular participant of the TV show "What? Where? When?" And he is the "Keeper of Traditions" of this club. His family lives in London. Ten years ago, Guselnikov was included in the list of the 33 most successful young people in Russia.


Grigory Guselnikov

According to some media reports, he is involved in four criminal cases related to economic crimes. The banker is suspected of laundering large sums of money, withdrawing them from offshore. It was about two and a half billion euros.

The chairman of the bank's board is Oliver Bramwell, who previously worked for Uniastrum Bank and National Trust Bank.

According to Guselnikov, the purchase agreement "will open a new page in the development of the financial system of Ukraine and new horizons for the development of AS Norvik Banka."

In addition, Norvik Banka told that they plan a number of measures to reduce the presence in the Russian banking market. "This will raise the efficiency of investments and eliminate a number of political risks related to the geography of the bank's work. The variety of investors will help to form a balanced consortium that takes into account the interests of all involved parties, which will allow the bank to effectively develop in European markets," as said in the press release.

Related: Russian Sberbank to sell its subsidiary in Ukraine

Related: National Corps decides to temporarily unblock Sberbank offices

"Kommersant," citing some sources, wrote that Guselnikov had negotiated with Sberbank earlier, but then the seller could dictate his own terms and the deal did not take place. The transaction price is unknown, but earlier potential buyers estimated the Ukrainian "daughter" of "Sberbank" in 450-680 million dollars. The newspaper writes that Grigory Guselnikov (through Norvik Banka) would acquire 45%, and Said Gutseriev - 55%.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Ukraine said that it had not received an official notification from potential investors regarding the purchase of the Ukrainian subsidiary of Sberbank.

The regulator notes that "it supports the civilized exit of banks with Russian state capital from the Ukrainian market, including through their sale."

Norvik Banka was founded in April 1992. It is one of the oldest commercial banks in Latvia. In terms of assets, Norvik Banka is the 7th largest bank in Latvia and in the first place in the country by the size of the branch network.

Related: Russian Sberbank actively searches exit from Ukrainian market

It is part of Norvik Group, which also includes the Russian "Vyatka-bank" (whose final beneficiary is Grigory Guselnikov) and English Norvik Banka UK Limited.

According to the bank, their services are used by more than 150 thousand customers.

In the first half of 2015, the assets of Norvik Banka exceeded 1 billion euros. The assets of the bank as of February 2017 are about 907 million euros.

Related: "Bricking-up" Sberbank: First step to persecution of Ukrainians of Russian origin?

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