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Migration of Billions: Main Transactions of Russian Businessmen in 2019 Took Place Outside the Country
December 23, 2019 13:12

Perhaps the main outcome of 2019 is that the most interesting transactions and investments with the participation of Russian businessmen were in no way connected with Russian assets.

On the first cover of this Forbes issue  is the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, half-forgotten in recent years,  on the second - Dmitry Volkov, a bit less well-known. What unites them is not only casual style in clothes and the fact that they won in their nominations when the editors summarized the results of 2019 (Prokhorov - businessman of the year, Volkov - rookie of the year). The main thing is that in Russia these entrepreneurs have almost no business.

Mikhail Prokhorov, a participant in collateral auctions and corporate wars, the classic oligarch of the 1990s, and a regular in the Forbes ranking of the richest. He became a global Russian, perhaps in 2009 after buying 80% of the NBA club New Jersey Nets. In 2012, he moved the team to a new stadium in Brooklyn, renaming it to Brooklyn Nets. In 2016 he became the sole owner of the club and arena, and in 2019 he sold everything to Chinese billionaire, Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai. Investments in the project were estimated at $ 1.5 billion, the deal with Tsai brought Prokhorov $ 3.5 billion in cash, and he became the businessman of the year according to Forbes. In December 2019, Forbes estimated his fortune at $ 10.9 billion, money and cash equivalents accounted for $ 9.5 billion, and it is clear that they are not in Russian banks. Prokhorov dwells between New York, Ibiza, the Seychelles and Moscow, is daily engaged in Tibetan martial art of teskao, has little interest in traditional business and says that now is the time to create a new paradigm. He is busy with this.

Dmitry Volkov, not yet on the Forbes list, has a fortune equal to $ 750 million. Once he even gathered a company of philosophers, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists and set sail with them on a sailing schooner off the coast of Greenland. The inhabitant of Silicon Valley, the owner of an estate in Latvia and a Malta passport, immediately built a business focused on the global market. The owner of the international Internet holding company SDVentures with offices on four continents calls his industry a search for connections in the broad sense. Speaking in a more understandable language: Volkov is a co-owner of Group, which combines dating services for every taste with 73 million registered users. He also makes venture capital investments and buys real estate in the USA.

Another owner of the dating business Andrei Andreev F 4with partners sold his MagicLab for $ 3 billion to the investment giant Blackstone - this is the deal of the year. Leonid Boguslavsky F 95 became an investor of the year: one of his portfolio companies, DataDog, conducted an IPO on NASDAQ, and the billionaire’s fortune grew by almost $ 1 billion, and in just a year - by $ 1.2 billion. And all this is also not a Russian business.

But what about in Russia? In the “Redistribution” nomination, Forbes awarded the company related to the crabs fishery business. The Russian fishing company owned by Gleb Frank (son-in-law of Gennady Timchenko) bought at the first auctions about a third of the quotas for catching the Far Eastern crab for 38 billion rubles and immediately became the second in this market.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian business Russian economy Russian companies Russian oligarchs Mikhail Prokhorov 

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