Suleyman Kerimov can be one of the investors of the construction of the World Academy of Wrestling on the site of Cherkizovsky market in Moscow liquidated in 2009.
The Cherkizovsky market was closed on June 29, 2009 for violation of sanitary norms and sales of smuggling goods. For the first time, the fact that the World Academy of Wrestling would appear on the site was announced in late 2010. The ex-owner of the “Cherkizon” Telman Ismailov declared that he intended to recreate the market in the Leninsky district of the Moscow region.
By approximate estimates, the volume of the investments into the project can be around $20-25 million. The main question which faces the construction beginning is - who will finance the project and how. The head of the Ministry of Sports Vitaly Mutko argues that the option of building the Academy at the expense of budgetary funds is being considered until now. However, it isn’t reported how much billionaire Kerimov is ready to invest in the project implementation. The media hasn’t reported yet about the modest (by Russian standards) reward to the wrestlers which were trumpeted about on the very eve of the millionaire’s trip to the London Olympics. However, a source in the government insisted that one of the sponsors for the ambitious project had already been found. And Kerimov whose fortune is estimated at more than $6.5 billion is considered as a quite expected candidate.
He is said to be a man who has made a lodgment in the so-called “personal” businessmen’s pool of Dmitry Medvedev. The pool includes Ziyavudin Magomedov, Suleyman Kerimov, Ahmed Bilalov, Mikhail Abyzov and Igor Yusufov. The growth of their assets occurred during the presidency of the present premier, and now they are trying to keep their influence and property safe. The total assets controlled by the businessmen come nearer to $50 billion. But the financial flows going through them are several times more. In the wide range, it is Kerimov who is called a star of the first magnitude.
Besides, there is quite a concrete key figure which lobbies for the interests of the businessmen. This is Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. After Kerimov had lost almost everything in the 2008 crisis having invested in the shares of the western financial institutions, it seemed that there was no chance for him to return to the system. But using his contacts, he increased his fortune to $6.5 million in 2011. The largest project of Kerimov was the purchase of Uralkali and its association with Silvinit. The both Russian producers of potassium chloride are estimated at $24 billion and their annual revenue exceeds $2 billion. It is quite clear that such transactions could have been impossible without approval of the Kremlin.
Arkady Dvorkovich is also known as the ideologist of the second wave of privatization which has already become one of the most discussed public topics. Officials of all ranks tirelessly assure the public that this time the sale of the state property will be fair, clear, and sensible. However even the very first transactions caused many questions.
One of the most interesting contacts of Kerimov is his connection with Igor Shuvalov. They are even neighbors in the village Zarechie.
It was Nafta-Moskva Company of Kerimov which was involved in the recent scandal on the income of the Shuvalov family, when the fund of Shuvalov’s wife increased by approximately $200 million through some transactions with Gazprom shares which quotations her husband could influence with his high position.
In the mid of 90's the name of Suleiman Kerimov was mentioned in an ugly story about the theft of the budget funds by his business partner Magomedtagirov Abdulbasirov, head of the Federal Food Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. In 1993, when Karimov headed "Eltava", the Federal Industrial Bank (Fedprombanke) was created for the convenience of the settlements between disparate enterprises, factories and subcontractors in Ukraine and Belarus. Suleiman Kerimov was to represent the interests of "Eltava" in Fedprombanke. In 1994, countryman of Kerimov Magomedtagirov Abdulbasirov headed up the Federal Food Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, in 1994-1996 the corporation received approximately $ 500 million from the budget forn government purchases of food; and Kerimov, as representative of Fedprombank, participated in the distribution of the money. He did business with Abdulbasirov. and gradually electronic factories came out of the capital Fedprombank - Kerimov redeemed their shares, and by the end of 1996 he gained a controlling stake. Shortly after Abdulbasirov was accused of embezzling budget funds, Kerimov name was not mentioned.in connection with the theft
Source: "Russian Forbes», June 2006
In 1996, they talked about Kerimov's acquaintance with the owner of Airlines Eagle Air, Sergei Isakov (who, in turn, introduced him to Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Soon the structures controlled by Kerimov purchased a controlling stake in Vnukovo Airlines, the Murmansk aviation enterprise, and Transport Clearing Chamber. FPG became a legal entity of the aviation business of Kerimov. "Rosaviakonsortsium", its largest shareholder was Fedprombank. Then Kerimov went conflicting with the Chamber, according to which the investment commitments in the privatization of "Vnukovo Airlines» had been imitated by contracts on supplies of aircrafta Tu-204, and paid by illiquid promissory notes. Kerimov was accused of failing to meet investment program of 150 million dollars, and bringing the "Vnukovo Airlines» to loss of the main part of the fleet, financial insolvency, and the planned absorption by the airline "Siberia". The Trade union leader of "Vnukovo Airlines» Gennady Borisov, who tried to fight the abuses in the company, as well as with the policy of Kerimov, was killed in his apartment building in January 1999. Kerimov's partners in "Rosaviakonsortsium» were Ibrahim Suleimanov and Tatevos Surinov (later criminal proceedings were instituted against both of them on the fact of illegal sale of the navigational equipment of airport "Kazan" in 2002). While Karimov left the capital of Vnukovo Airlines and Fedprombank back in 1998.
Source: "Russian Forbes», June 2006
When the company Nafta Moskva "(Retail oil company) was put up for sale with respect to the debts appeared in November 1998, Kerimov purchased it for $ 50 million. President of Transneft Dmitry Saveliev helped Karimov then. In 1999, Karimov bought about 20% of preferred shares of Transneft for 100 million dollars, and a half year later resold them for more than 400 million dollars. Subsequently Kerimov bought a stake in «Surgutneftegaz» in the "Nafta Moscow", and a year and a half later he brought his share of" Nafta» to 100%, eroding the share of small shareholders by issuing additional shares. Vladimir Zhirinovsky helped Kerimov in several major "Nafta» deals, for example, deals with the Iraqi oil the program "oil-for-food program».
In December 1999, Karimov was buying assets. In that period he formed a business relationship with Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska, known for their reputation of raiders. In June 2000, "Nafta-Moskva» bought the company" Varyeganneftegaz "- a subsidiary of SIDANCO, towards which the bankruptcy proceedings had been initiated. At that point, Karimov gained control over 70% stake in OAO «Varyeganneft”. Brothers Bazhayev (group "Alliance") challenged the "Nafta's” 38,9% stake in «Varyeganneft", accusing Kerimov of force capture of their business. But the company still came under the influence of Kerimov, and in spring of 2001 «Slavneft» headed by Mikhail Gutseriev bought "Varyeganneft" for $ 200 million, and thus became "bona fide acquirers”.
One of the most scandalous transactions by Suleiman Kerimov was the acquisition of Andrey Andreyev's business, the former OBKHSS employee. Andreev himself accused Suleiman Kerimov, as well as Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska in the forcible take-over of his businesses. Andreev controlled Avtobank, insurance company «Ingosstrakh», insurance company «Ingosstrakh-Rossiya”, Orsk-Khalilovsk metallurgical complex, Bank «Ingosstrakh-Soyuz», animal-breeding sovkhoz in Moscow and a number of other enterprises. In autumn of 2001, all those companies were registered on the companies, controlled by Kerimov, Deripaska and Abramovich. Transactions were signed on behalf of Andreev by a Krasnoyarsk gang leader Radik Hamzayev and chairman of Avtobank Natalia Raevskaya — for that purpose Kerimov, Deripaska and Abramovich provided physical and moral pressure on her. Subsequently, the companies owned by Andreev, were sold by Kerimov by the piece: Avtobank — to NIKoil, Ingosstrakh and Nosta — to Oleg Deripaska's structures, animal-breeding sovkhoz — to a group of BIN. ... Shortly after this story Kerimov parted with his partner Dzhabrailov Shikhaliyev who had signed all papers on those transactions on behalf of «Nafta Moscow», andtook to bosom Alexander Mosionzhik, a specialist in acquisitions and investments, who became the CEO of «Nafta Moscow".
Source: Vedomosti № 223 (1750) on 27/11/2006
Investigative bodies of the General Prosecutor of Russia at the time were interested in the theme of the acquisition of a major real estate by the chief of staff of the Government Igor Shuvalov. Shortly before the elimination GOSINKOR (the State Information Corporation) transferred the ownership of suburban residence "Zarechie - 4", (which is in Odintsovo district, Moscow region) to the company controlled by Shuvalov. The market value of the residence was estimated at 10 million dollars. The sponsor of the deal was considered to be Suleiman Kerimov who was close to Shuvalov. Those funds were actually paid to the previous management of GOSINKOR, but they never came to the corporation's cashier.
Source: "APN" from 11.04.2003
In the mid of 2004 Suleiman Kerimov started buying shares of Gazprom» and «Savings bank” on credit. Kerimov took credit under "Nafta Moscow" in the Savings Bank, bought the papers of «Gazprom», and then used them as collateral for a new credit. Later he began to buy shares of the Savings Bank also. Pledged shares may not be sold, but if they grow in price, the shares can be released from the pledge and be taken for a new loan. That was what Kerimov did. Loans were first processed at "Nafta Moscow", and then at another company of Kerimov- ZAO "New Project". As a result, he managed to acquire 4.5% stake in Gazprom and 6% of the Savings bank. Most of his package Kerimov purchased from two other private shareholders of the Savings Bank - owner of the cement holding «Eurocement Group» Filaret Galchev, and the owner of the agro-industrial group "Rusagro» Vadim Moshkovich. Was it legal to use the Savings Bank's funds to purchase its own shares? - the central bank made comments on that occasion, but the first deputy chairman of Sberbank Alla Alyoshina found the arguments in support of Suleiman Kerimov , as well as the credit policy of the Savings Bank as a whole. Alyosha is believed to be a major benefactor of Kerimov.
Source: www.smoney.ru on 23/08/2008
The high-profile scandal involving Suleiman Kerimov, occurred in 2005. SPK "Development" (agricultural production co-operative), the largest enterprise in the construction market in Moscow changed the owner - unwillingly by the forceful takeover. Some media reports appeared that was Suleiman Kerimov the capturer. He was interested in the assets of SPK, including "Glavmosstroy", "Mosstroyekonombank", "Mospromstroymaterialy" and "Mosmontazhspetsstroy». In April 2005, "Nafta" by Kerimov became a co-owner of «Mosstroyekonombank», after a couple of months "Nafta" gained control of the SPK "Development" ( "Glavmosstroy," Mospromstroymaterialy "and" Mosmontazhspetsstroy "), and in July became the owner of 17% of the common stock in "Mospromstroy». Karimov subsequently sold the business in parts - SPK "Development" was bought by "Basic Element» of Oleg Deripaska (Kerimov earned about $ 200 million on the transaction), and «Mospromstroy» and «Mosstroyekonombank» was acquired by BIN, headed by Saito Gutseriev (brother of Mikhael Gutseriev) .
Source: "Novye Izvestiya" on 02/03/2005
Suleiman Kerimov hit the pages of the media in connection with the conflict situation around Mosstroyekonombank. After the shareholders meeting, Alexey Guskov - former top manager of Bin-bank close to "Nafta" - was approved the Chairman of the Board instead of Kazibek Tagirbekov. At the same time, one of Moscow's major construction companies «Inteko», headed by the wife of Moscow Mayor Elena Baturin, refused to cooperate with the bank, after it had been obtained by Kerimov. It was a bad thing for Suleiman Kerimov: Inteko planned to act as co-investor with the former management of the bank in order to build a second line of "Smolensky Passage", the total investment estimated at 150 million dollars. Baturina refused to work with Alexei Guskov. There were people who accused Kerimov of contributing to the fabrication of criminal cases against the former president of the bank Kazibek Tagirbekov. Tagirbekov was released from prison only after the bank's assets had been fully under the control of Kerimov.
Source: Vedomosti № 116 (1397) on 28/06/2005
Suleiman Kerimov become a shareholder of "Mospromstroya" - the owner of more than 150 buildings in Moscow. The process of shares buying by the company «Nafta Moskva "controlled by Kerimov was also associated with a scandal. Someone started buying shares from small owners, and the company management publicly announced an attempt of capturing absorption. Trying to keep the company, its management invited Yuri Luzhkov to join them under the control of shares and transfer them to a specially created management company. But the Moscow authorities failed to protect the executives' Mospromstroy "and after some time" Nafta Moscow "bought 17-percent stake in the enterprise.
Source: Vedomosti № 123 (1404) of 07.07.2005
On November 25, 2006 Suleiman Kerimov and Tina Kandelaki got in a car accident on the seafront Promenade des-England in Nice; sports car Enzo Ferrari of Kerimov lost control, crashed into a tree and caught fire. Tina Kandelaki with minor burns went to Moscowon the same day , Suleiman Kerimov received severe burns and was taken to hospital in Marseilles, and then he moved to Belgium at the request of Professor Jean-Louis Vincennes from the hospital Erasme; he asked Defense Minister of Belgium Andre Flao to provide a specially equipped aircraft and a brigade of Belgian military doctors to transport Kerimov. In January 2007, Suleiman Kerimov returned to Moscow.
Source: "Kommersant" № 222 (3553) on 28/11/2006
Suleiman Kerimov is attributed to have love affairs with well-known singers, dancers, actresses. They said those were Natalya Vetlickaya, Zhanna Friske, Anastasia Volochkova, Ksenia Sobchak, Olesya Sudzilovskaya, Tina Kandelaki. He was generous with his beloved: to the 38-th anniversary of Vetlitskaya he gave her a pendant with diamonds for 10 thousand dollars, and when they parted - plane and an apartment in Paris. For Anastasia Volochkova Kerimov hired a guard, as Vetlickaya promised to deal with her by resorting to the help of criminal networks.
Source: "Express Gazeta" on 28.07.2007
The scandal with the name of Suleiman Kerimov appeared in the press, when his mistress Catherine Gomiashvili, the daughter of the actor Archil Gomiashvili, was pregnant by him. Their affair lasted for four years, Karimov helped the girl get in a big design business. Gomiashvili opened boutiques in London and Moscow for Kerimov's money. The shop in London was designed by the popular British architect Eb Rogers; opening a boutique cost Kerimov about 3 million euros.
Source: "Express Gazeta" on 28.07.2007
Kerimov was accompanied by conflict situations on the way to the Senators also. He left the party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky and moved to the "United Russia", where he had been promised a place in the top three electoral party list on Dagestan. But, on the orders of Vladimir Putin, they expelled from the rosters everybody whose capital was more than a million dollars, including Kerimov. Kerimov was offered a job senator from Dagestan instead of the deputy chair. To make room for Kerimov, the former senator from Dagestan, Atay Aliyev was forced to leave his post. When Aliev refused to write an application for early resignation from the office voluntarily, law enforcement bodies of Dagestan created problems for Atay Aliyev's brother, Magomed, who was the deputy of the National Assembly and the Director of the Dagestan branch "Kavkazregiongaz" - his offices had been seized, the legitimacy of his actions had been verified. In the end, Suleiman Kerimov took the chair of senator.
Source: Gazeta.ru was dated 20/02/2008
At the end of 2008 they rumored that Suleiman Kerimov had problems with meeting his financial obligations. According to some reports, he was unable to pay margin calls, he had problems servicing the loans guaranteed by his shares.
Source: «Handelsblatt» on 22.10.2008
In 2009, the State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, Ashot Eghiazaryan accused Suleiman Kerimov of raid capture of controlling stake in OAO DekMos (49% owned by the Property Department of Moscow, and a controlling stake — by ZAO "Decorum" behind which Eghiazaryan was). According to Eghiazaryan, namely the structure of Kerimov controled "DekMos", but not the government of Moscow, and Kerimov had initiated criminal proceedings against Eghiazaryan for fraud in order to acquire a controlling interest in OAO DekMos. Thus Suleiman Kerimov tried to enter the project of reconstruction of hotel "Moscow".
Source: Novaya Gazeta № 63 dated 17.06.2009
Thanks to the support of the Moscow mayor's wife Yelena Baturina, Suleiman Kerimov took part in the redistribution of the construction market in Moscow; thus he earned hundreds of millions of dollars. Participants of the capital's property market say that Kerimov's arrival in the Moscow Building complex would not have taken place without the support of the First Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin as well.
The last conflict associated with the name of Kerimov concerned non-payment of the office rent.
Investment group "Nafta-Moscow", which occupies an area of the business center of the «Legion-I»in the center of Moscow, owes almost 13 million rubles for the lease to a holder of the business center, "Legion Development " company. "Legion" has filed a lawsuit to recover funds from the company of Suleiman Kerimov.
Source: www.rbcdaily.ru on 21/04/2009