Gleb Frank sells Russian Fishery Company and Russian Crab as sanctions hit
Gleb Frank, the founder of two of Russia’s biggest seafood companies – Russian Fishery Company and Vladivostok-based Russian Crab – sold his shares in both companies to senior executives after the United States decided to impose restrictions on him. penalties.
Frank is the son-in-law of Russian business tycoon Gennady Timchencko, who is believed to be a close partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the sixth richest person in the world.
Statements from RFC and Russian Crab indicate that Frank has officially sold all of his holdings and resigned from his positions at both companies, effective March 25.
In total, he sold a 70.1% stake in Russian Crab and a 70.09% stake in RFC to the top executives of the companies: Evgeny Orlov, Anton Chertkov, Alexander Sapozhnikov, Savely Karpukhin and Stanislav Aksenov. The two companies said the deal was on market terms, without disclosing the amount. With Frank’s resignation, Orlov assumed the role of chairman of the board of both companies. Franc he says now plans to focus on other initiatives in Russia.
“I made the decision to sell majority stakes in the companies to key managers who have helped me lead these companies over the past few years,” Frank said. “I am confident that they will be able to ensure sustainable operations, retain jobs and meet their obligations to our customers and creditors without my involvement.”
Frank has become a powerful new player in the Russian crab fishery after the country switched to a new quota auction system. Dubbed “the Crab King” by the country’s media, Frank won more than a third of quota auctions in 2019. He took control of RFC in 2018, after his founding partner sold a 44-year stake. .7% to Frank.
Frank’s decision came after the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC) added Frank and his wife, Ksenia Frank, to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. The sanctions threatened to block RFC and Russian crab from seafood markets in the European Union and Japan, business newspaper Kommersant reported. Moreover, the sanctions could have cut off the fishing fleets of Western equipment companies.
Being named to the SDN list constitutes a complete ban on doing business with the United States. It freezes personal and corporate assets located in the United States and prohibits any business dealings with US corporations.
If RFC and Russian crab were excluded from the global seafood market, it would effectively undo years of work the company has put into producing higher value seafood and growing its international markets. . The EU was the largest export market for RFC in 2021 – the company supplied 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) of pollock fillets and mince, compared to 12,000 MT in 2020. RFC previously said it planned to send 25,000 MT of pollock products to the United States. in 2022. And the United States and Japan are also the main destinations for Russian Crab’s products.
Due to international sanctions, Russia’s seafood industry is increasingly concerned that its fleet renewal efforts are in jeopardy. Russian shipyards said foreign manufacturers are considering suspending their supply of equipment to Russia and refusing to send non-Russian personnel to Russia for start-up and commissioning work.
However, RFC and Russian Crab told PortNews that no changes have been made to RFC’s plan to build 10 supertrawlers, and Russian Crab’s progress in building 10 new crabbers.
Photo courtesy of Russian Fishery Company