Recently the St. Petersburg criminal authority Andrei Leuhin nicknamed Medved (“Bear’) was sentenced to 11 years for the seizure of enterprises. At the trial it became known that the raiders honestly warned customers that «the goods” had been purchased illegally when actually selling the right to lease the Palace of Mikhail Romanov. But the well-known oligarch, Alexander Bronstein who owned the company was not embarrassed with the fact. One of the accomplices to Leuhin said this in court. According to him, representatives of the firm "Romtreyd Holdings Limited” announced that they will help solve the problem with powerful administrative resource of some influential buyers.
It’s all settled with Leuhinym and ten other convicts "colleagues", despite the fact that the sentence has not yet entered into force. However, the unpleasant odor is still hovering around his "bear’s lair" - one of the most expensive places in Europe, the Palace of Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich Romanov located at the Admiralty Embankment, 8. That federal architectural monument once has been taken with scandal the Medeved’s company OOO “North-West Financial Group” (SZFG) on loan for 49 years - in general, the whole business of that company was renting buildings to lease.
Leuhin did not own all shares of authorized capital of SZFG. 45% of shares was owned by Sergei Tatko. Medved is a raider for a reason. He and his comrades simply seized missing shares from Tatko and began selling them. The buyer appeared unexpectedly. SZFG, along with its right to lease the mansion next to the Hermitage, has been acquired by "Romtreyd Holdings Limited”; its owner has been one of the captains of domestic business - Alexander Bronstein. To realize the scale of Bronstein’s personality, one should know that he has led the world's largest aluminum producer - "SUAL-holding" - along with Victor Vekselberg.
The buyer was warned honestly that "the goods" was questionable. However, "Romtreyd Holdings" was not confused.
Here is the description of the deal given by one of the sellers Yuri Neronov (he was convicted along with Leuhin) at a meeting in the Kuibyshev court:
"Negotiations with representatives of the buyer “Romtreyd Holdingc Ltd" was conducted by me and Savenkov. The buyer was represented by Apanansky and Porfiryev, who acted in the interests of the owner "Romtreyd Holdings Bronstein”. They had been warned of the difficulties that could have appeared from the side of the former owner Sergei Tatko, who had been abducted of 45% share of the authorized capital of OOO SZFG. They did not get embarrassed with that. They explained to us that the buyer had a strong administrative resource, and was able to cope with that kind of situations. In addition, the buyer ordered an expert opinion on the appropriateness of the transaction by the consulting company "MKD Partner". Afterwards the buyer offered a slightly lower price of the transaction, on which we agreed."
On March 14, 2005, 100 % shares of SZFG, including those 45 "stolen" were acquired by "Romtreyd Holdings Limited” for a bit more than $ 5 million. According to the document, SZFG founders personally received some modest compensation for such a generous contract. The following payments were prescribed separately: Leuhin had owing of 940 thousand dollars, Yuri Nero –of 425 thousand, Leo Savenkov – of 300 thousand, Dmitri Zaitsev – of 300 thousand dollars.
Smolny tried the best.
The new tenant of desired properties outlined his plans: in 2010 - to open in the mansion five-star hotel with official functions. Reconstruction and restoration of architectural monuments cost was estimated at 50 million dollars. Let us remind that businessmen receive benefits on lease from the city, on account of restoration.
But things turned out as usually. Investment project was closed quietly. As in Leuhine-Medved days, the palace is still underleased. And a terribly complicated litigation in the courts and law enforcement agencies of St. Petersburg continues. The fact is fight for plum tenant has not ended with the coming of influential company to the mansion. Today one of CEO of SZFG, Mikhail Malakhov is contesting activities of the former director general - Svetlana Baturina by writing statements to law enforcement agencies about her possible fraudulent activities. It came to a point that the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region a statement has been placed on the recognition of SZFG bankrupt ...
Alexander Bronstein is a St. Petersburg citizen. He was born in Leningrad. He studied in Estonia. In 1980 Alexander worked in the Ministry of Forestry and Conservation of the Estonian SSR. From 1988 to 1998 he held leading positions at JV “Estland-West”, Handels GmbH, Shanton International LTD, and Raznoimport Trading (UK) LTD.
Starting from 1998 to 2000 he headed the office Raznoimport (UK) LTD in Eastern Europe. Since 1997, has been consistently serving as a member of the board of directors of KB "Flora-Moscow", JSC “Volkhov Aluminum Plant ", OJSC "Syassky PPM","Volgograd Aluminum Plant", OJSC" Metallurg", and OAO " Klyuchevskii Ferroalloy Plant”. Nowadays he is a member of the Board of Directors of OAO “SUAL Holding”, which is chaired by Viktor Vekselberg.
In the 2000's Bronstein was also a member of the Board of Directors of longsuffering "Pikalevo alumina”. Press relates the ills story of modern Pikalevo with the time when the co-owner of the plant (along with Utevsky) was Mr. Bronstein. Ostensibly then they got rid unprofitable Alumina and cement productions, and left most cost-effective chemical plant to themselves. At the meeting with the owners of enterprises in Pikalevo Vladimir Putin put it figuratively as always: those interested had "scooped out raisins from bread” in such a way.
Source: "Your Secret Advisor" from 15.03.2010