Business news from Ukraine

Zelenskyy adds Vadym Iermolaiev and two other businessmen to sanctions list – list of assets is attached

Cypriot citizen Vadym Iermolaiev, owner of the 18-enterprise Alef diversified corporation, whose assets were estimated by Forbes Ukraine at $220 million before the war, has been added to the Ukrainian sanctions list.

Presidential Decree No. 850 of December 23, among other things, blocks its assets for 10 years, revokes or suspends licenses and other permits, prohibits participation in privatization and the purchase of land, and suspends the fulfillment of economic and financial obligations.

Alef-Vinal-Crimea LLC is also on the list of legal entities subject to sanctions.

According to the website, the main assets of the Alef Corporation include UDK Gazbeton, manufacturers of PVC profile Miroplast and window and door fittings Axor Industry, apple exporter Sady Dnipra and Agroalliance, ALEF Estate, SEZ Potoky, medical device manufacturer ABM Technology, pipe manufacturer Oscar, and concrete producer Elba.

The corporation and Mr. Yermolaiev have not yet publicly commented on the sanctions.

Another decree No. 851 of the same day imposed sanctions, in particular, against Leonid (Len) Blavatnik, a British citizen, ex-partner of Russian businessmen Viktor Vekselberg and Oleg Deripaska, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Acces Industries, a holding company and investment firm that estimates its diversified portfolio of investments worldwide at more than $35 billion. In particular, it is the majority owner of Warner Music Group. Other assets include DAZN Group and LyondelBassel.

The list also includes Ukrainian citizen Vyacheslav Yutkin, who until 2016 was the first deputy chairman of Prominvestbank, a Ukrainian subsidiary of the Russian VEB that invested in Ukrainian real estate.

As of May 2018, he was the owner of the Hlibivka country house hotel near Kyiv, the Yaremche Club boutique hotel (Yaremche, Ivano-Frankivsk region), the Pushcha Congress Hotel (Pushcha-Vodytsia, Kyiv region), and the five-star boutique hotel Bank Hotel Congress Hall Art Butik (Lviv).

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Zelenskyy at meeting with delegation of politicians and businessmen from USA urged to invest in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has held a meeting with a delegation of politicians, businessmen and representatives of United States charities led by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The head of state noted the importance of such visits and meetings, which are a powerful signal of support for Ukrainians in our fight for freedom and democracy, the press service of the Office of the President reported Tuesday.
“I’m glad to see you have come with your friends,” the president said, addressing Mike Pompeo. – Comprehensive American support is very important to us.”
During the meeting, the head of state invited American business to actively invest in Ukraine. “We are open to this, we are ready to provide you with full assistance. It is very important for us,” he said.
Zelensky informed about business development opportunities in construction, agriculture, IT technology, etc. The president also emphasized the importance of continuing and strengthening defense assistance and joint development of defense technologies, taking into account the experience acquired by Ukraine during the war. “Invest in business, because business is what creates jobs. We are interested in people being able to find jobs and the budget getting revenue to strengthen our capabilities on the battlefield,” summarized the head of state.
A number of other topical issues were also discussed, in particular Ukraine’s movement to NATO, the importance of further strengthening the sanctions pressure on Russia. Zelenski noted the activities of American charitable organizations, whose representatives were present at the meeting, focused on helping displaced people, rebuilding destroyed housing stock, providing medical care, and providing drinking water and food.

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In Lublin (Poland) a second volunteer warehouse center for humanitarian and medical assistance to Ukraine has been deployed.
“A new large warehouse in Lublin, 20 trucks a day arrive at Helm, there are queues. We are expanding and will do this all the time,” Andriy Stavnitser, the co-owner of the TIS group of companies, wrote on his Facebook page.
The new address of the new warehouse is Mełgiewska 29, hala B / Rama T3, 20-234 Lublin, Polska.
“Helm is still working, everything you sent there will reach its destination. But redirect new cargoes to Lublin – there is much more space, more people, which means we will be able to receive and send much more help. From it we will finally be able to make targeted delivery to cities,” the businessman explained.
At the same time, Stavnitser emphasized that the top needs for now are medicines, dry rations, canned food, energy bars, warm clothes, thermal underwear, and hygiene products.
As reported, the CEO of TIS organizes a single warehouse center for humanitarian and medical assistance for Ukraine, the co-owner Rozetka is providing a warehouse in Poland.

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Rinat Akhmetov with a $2.8 billion fortune is No.1 in the top 100 wealthiest businessmen of Ukraine, the total fortune of whom exceeded $31 billion, and compared with the peak 2013 the fortune of Akhmetov plunged by almost 83%, Forbes has said on its website. According to the ranking of the Forbes Ukraine publication, which was published first since 2016, the owner of Interpipe Group Victor Pinchuk with a $1.4 billion fortune came in at No. 2 and the fifth president of Ukraine, leader of the European Solidarity party Petro Poroshenko ($1.4 billion) is No. 3.
Poroshenko returned to the list of U.S. dollar billionaires after a five year break: in 2014, U.S. Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.3 billion.
Eight people in the list have a fortune no less than $1 billion, including two, who are the co-owners of the Epicenter hypermarket chain – Oleksandr and Halyna Hereha. The list of the U.S. dollar billionaires is locked by former owner of PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky.
The top 100 richest businessmen of Ukraine with the minimum net worth needed to be part of the exclusive club of $95 million is locked by the co-owner of the Tavria V supermarket chain Borys Muzalev.

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Kharkiv Palace five-star hotel belonged to businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky and Vertex Hotel Group, which operates President Hotel in Kyiv and Bristol, Londonskaya and Formula Wellness Spa in Odesa, are developing projects to launch casinos in their premises.
“The casino project we have been working for a long time, it is necessary that the legislative framework has come to a logical conclusion. We have experience on the use of our premises with potential investors. And this crisis does not stop these plans,” General Manager of Kharkiv Palace Hotel Atis Zaharans said during the online conference entitled “Hotel Market in Crisis.”
The facility has 171 rooms, three restaurants, and large conference rooms.
“At present, we continue to work, but we have removed part of the rooms to save money. We have saved only those rooms that are necessary. We serve all guests through the room service, since all the restaurants and bars are closed, as well as the spa center… Only several rooms are occupied, no more than a dozen or two,” Zaharans said.
According to Regional Director of Vertex Hotel Group Olena Varivoda, the company is also working on a project to open a casino in the hotel’s area, without indicating which one.
“We have the opportunity to open a casino in the hotel. There is a project that we are working on, an additional service – a casino – in our area. Project work is underway to prepare this part of the hotel,” she said.
She also added that since the beginning of quarantine in Ukraine, Vertex Hotel Group immediately closed hotels such as Londonskaya and Formula Wellness Spa. At the end of March, the President Hotel in Kyiv was closed, and at the beginning of April, the Odesa Bristol was closed too.

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Ukroagro Alliance (Nicosia, Cyprus) belonged to Vasyl and Yevhen Astion plans to acquire Khorol baby food plant LLC (Poltava region) and Khorol baby food plant Trade House LLC (Kyiv).
The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine could permit Ukroagro Alliance to buy a stake in the charter capital of the two companies exceeding 50% of the votes in the management bodies of the companies.
According to the unified public register of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, Vasyl and Yevhen Astion are also founders of Dnipro Agro Group, which core business is the production, storage and sale of grains and oilseeds.
The enterprises of Dnipro Agro Group cultivate more than 50,000 hectares of land in Dnipropetrovsk region, grow wheat, barley, sunflower, and rape. The group owns three silos with a total storage capacity of about 125,000 tonnes.
Khorol baby food plant produces cereals, dairy products, water under the Maliutka, Malysh and other trademarks. The plant produces more than 20 kinds of products.
Qibox Financial Ltd. (Nicosia, Cyprus), owned by Serhiy Kobzar, is listed as the ultimate beneficiary of Khorol baby food plant and the trade house.

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