New leader: as Leonid Mikhelson became the richest businessman of Russia


Co-owner of gas producer NOVATEK and petrochemical holding “SIBUR” Leonid Michelson became the richest Russian, to the billionaires, which was published on Tuesday by the American magazine Forbes. In the global ranking of billionaires Michelson took 60 th place.

His fortune Forbes estimated at $14.4 billion — for the year it increased by $2.7 billion This allowed Michelson to jump immediately to the six steps from the seventh to the first place among Russian businessmen. Previously, Forbes “conservatively” estimated the value of “SIBUR” — the multipliers of the Western world, explains the first Deputy chief editor of the Russian Forbes Nikolay Mazurin. “The whole company we evaluated in the neighborhood of $7 billion But in December last year, China’s Sinopec purchased 10% of SIBUR, and the head of FAS Igor Artemiev announced the amount of the transaction, assessment of the state of Michelson greatly increased,” he explains. Artemyev said that the deal with the Chinese 10% of the company were valued at $1,338 billion Michelson Now controls approximately 43.2% of actions “SIBUR” (the data SPARK). Based on the amount of the transaction with Sinopec, now this package cost $5.8 billion (to her at Michelson, presumably, was 50.2 per cent).

This is comparable to the price of the underlying asset Michelson — stake in NOVATEK, Russia’s largest independent gas producer. Back in 2011 on this asset, according to Forbes, accounted for more than 90% of the wealth of a businessman. From mid-April 2015, when Forbes introduced the previous rating of the richest businessmen of Russia, the company’s capitalization on the Moscow stock exchange rose by 33%, almost to 2 trillion rubles ($25.5 billion). The value of the share of Michelson (24.8 per cent) now stands at about $6.3 billion

The representative of NOVATEK declined to comment on the assessment of Forbes. Michelson himself was always reluctant to discuss this subject. “The NOVATEK company, its business is my life. It is incorrect to translate it into numbers” — so in 2005 he commented on his getting into the Forbes. Then he took 33rd place with a fortune of $900 million In 2012 Michelson for the first time entered the top ten richest Russians (with $11.9 billion), and in 2013 — three leaders ($15.4 billion).

How Michelson was able to take first place, surpassing Vladimir Potanin, Mikhail Fridman and Alisher Usmanov?

Assets and partners

On the Moscow exchange NOVATEK, Mikhelson created from scratch, is now worth just 1.7 times less than Gazprom. This performance gap is far larger — for the extraction of the inferior NOVATEK to Gazprom six times, and in terms of revenue, 12 times (based on data for the first nine months of 2015). NOVATEK investing in the best projects, implements them within the time and in the designated budget, explains the love of investors to the company, the analyst “the Renaissance the Capital” Ildar Davletshin.

Michelson was in the oil business through his father, a former Director of one of the largest in the USSR building trusts “Kuybyshevtruboprovodstroy”. Michelson Jr. began his career on one of his construction sites, and in the late 1980s, has replaced his father at the head of the trust. It subsequently grew and NOVATEK.

How Michelson could earn on the deal with Sinopec

SIBUR did not disclose who its shareholders in December of 2015, China’s Sinopec has sold a 10% stake holding. The last time “SIBUR” has opened structure of shareholders in September 2014, then Michelson was 50.2 per cent. Now its effective stake in the company, according to SPARK-Interfax, fell to 43.2%. If we assume that from 2014 the package has not changed significantly, it appears that in the course of the transaction with Sinopec, he could sell about 7% of actions “SIBUR” for about $940 million (the representative of the Michelson is not commented).

The hallmark of Michelson was the ability to choose the right partners. One of the first was the future first Vice-Governor of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Ioseph Levinson. In 2006, Michelson has sold part of the company’s main competitor — “Gazprom”. And after two years a strategic partner of Michelson became the founder of oil trader Gunvor and an acquaintance of Putin, Gennady Timchenko. “And you know what it means to share the risks? More comfortable to have partners,” explained the founder of NOVATEK in an interview with “Vedomosti” their willingness to share.

Partnership with Timchenko was so successful that businessmen decided to extend it to Eastern Europe’s largest petrochemical holding SIBUR. In late 2011, they acquired control in the company (the amount of the transaction media was estimated at about $5 billion). In crisis buy looked risky, but judging from the deal with Sinopec, the partners made the right decision. Last year “SIBUR” has another major owner is the former Manager of the company Kirill Shamalov, which Reuters calls the husband of the younger daughter of President Vladimir Putin.

Due to the rising cost of “SIBUR” assessment of the status of Timchenko, according to Forbes, has also increased — he has moved from ninth to fifth place ($11.4 billion). Shamalov because of its investment was first included in the number of billionaires — he took 14-th place among Russian businessmen with the assessment of the $1.2 billion, says Mazurin.

Last year, NOVATEK and SIBUR was the only oil and gas companies, which received money for their projects from the national welfare Fund — to the project “Yamal LNG” NOVATEK approved the allocation of 150 billion rubles for the construction of the West Siberian petrochemical company “SIBUR” — $1.75 billion