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Tape Network of retail Film Pielsi

Company

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Owners:
Severgroup - 78,73%

Content

Revenue millions Thousand rub

Number of employees

Owners

The company was founded in 1993 in St. Petersburg. The largest shareholders of Tape are Severgroup. "Tape" has listing on the London Stock Exchange and the Moscow Exchange under the trade LNTA code.

Assets

For the 2019th year:

  • "Tape" manages 249 hypermarkets in 88 cities of Russia and 131 supermarkets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia, the Ural and Central regions with the total floor space of 1,493,663 sq.m.
  • The average floor space of one hypermarket "Lenta" makes about 5,500 sq.m, the average area of supermarket – 800 sq.m.
  • The company operates with twelve distribution centers.

The company develops several formats of hypermarkets with low prices which differ in marketing and price policy and also the range of goods of local producers. As of June 30, 2019 the staff of the Company made about 50,509 people.


For 2017 in company assets:

  • 271 shops in 79 cities
  • 7 own distribution centers
  • 1.2 million square meters of the floor space

Information technologies in Tape

2020

Selection of requests on search of the technological solutions "Safe Shop"

"Film", one of retail networks of Russia, and the Retail TECH platform completed selection of requests on search of the technological solutions "Safe Shop". On June 25, 2020 Tape reported about it.

In total on the tender "Safe Shop" 142 requests from the different companies from Russia, Israel, Singapore and China arrived. These are technologies of contactless service, diagnostics of health, disinfection of premises, control of number of people in premises and access controls based on advanced video analytics and artificial intelligence. Besides, the practices prolonging an expiration date of products and increasing food hygiene are provided.

The chief innovation officer of Tape Olga Karayeva commented:

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Part of introduced drafts can be applied not only to increase in security of our shops in the period of a pandemic, but also to "Future shop". For example, indicators of freshness of products are devices by which it is possible to determine without contact availability of allergens in food, technology of preserving of freshness of products, independent robots for cleaning and disinfection of premises, contactless payment systems, the systems of self-service.
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On July 31, 2020 the best offers which will be implemented as pilots in one of Lenty shops will be selected.

An opportunity to use cards of loyalty in the Purse application

On May 27, 2020 Tape, retail network of Russia, announced the beginning of cooperation with mobile application for storage of cards of loyalty and bank cards Purse (developer — CardsMobile company).

Card owners of loyalty Tape can add to the Purse application as the card which is already existing in plastics, and to issue new in a mobile format. To receive a discount, it is necessary to show at the checkout the card from the smartphone screen.

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The number of active holders of cards of loyalty of Tape in 2019 grew by 10 percent — up to 15.8 million people, and a third of participants of our loyalty program store maps in Purse. Partnership allows us to strengthen presence in mobile canals and not to be limited to proprietary mobile application, thereby having provided to clients one more convenient service. Besides, Purse helps us to enrich client data, to communicate with buyers and to attract audience: 60% of all cards issued in the application — new,
commented the director of strategic marketing of Lenta company Valery Rusanov
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Further card holders Tape will be able to check quantity of available bonuses, the history of purchases in Purse, to save stickers and to receive personal offers.

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Our main mission — to save users from excess plastic and to give the chance to assemble all cards necessary for the user in one application. In Purse more than 12 million Russian buyers are registered, and practically every second has a Film card. We are glad that now it became more convenient to participants of the loyalty program of network to receive discounts in favourite shop and at any time to learn about interesting actions, using possibilities of Purse,
noted the CEO of Cardsmobile company Kirill Gorynya
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The key partner of Cardsmobile in implementation Nobilis.Team which undertook development on the party of Part and the general coordination of works took.

Project startup Safe shop

On April 14, 2020 Tape announced a project startup Safe shop together with the Retail TECH platform.

The purpose of the joint project – search of the innovative solutions which implementation will increase security of shops of the company. Tender starts on April 20, 2020 on the website retailtech.ru. Participants need to fill out the request and to select one or the other the directions for selection of projects: "Food security" and "Safe environment". The companies having solutions and products in the field of packaging, food production, waste recycling, a control system of movement of buyers, contactless issue of individual protection equipment and so on can participate in tender.

High-tech solutions will be implemented as pilot in one of Lenty shops in St. Petersburg.

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We reside in search of the ideas and solutions which will help us to make shops of Tape the best place for daily purchases. "Tape" already implemented and uses systems allowing to guarantee safety of buyers and employees. We calculate that partnership with Retail TECH will allow us to expand a pool of solutions which will promote increase in efficiency of already implemented measures and will bring our shops to higher level of security and comfort,
told the chief innovation officer of Tape Olga Karayeva commented
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We consider emergence of an initiative Safe shop a timely and necessary step, and sincerely we believe that it will become long-term strategy for the Russian retail. The Retail TECH command will use the best efforts that in quickly to tell a wide range of suppliers about an initiative of the Film command and to organize collecting of requests and examination for the first round of the project. Also we are ready to support on a long-term basis the initiatives of development of the safe environment in all formats of retail, to exchange experience and comprehensive to inform the industry on development of the Safe Shop project,
added the chief executive of Retail TECH Irina Ratina
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2019

Start of an AR game for buyers

On October 9, 2019 the Lenta Retail network announced TAdviser start of own AR-application. Read more here.

Start of the training VR module for personnel

On August 27, 2019 the Lenta company announced start of the training VR module for personnel.

According to the company, pilot start of the VR module will take place since August until the end of October, 2019 in 10 Lenta shops in St. Petersburg and 5 shops of the company in Moscow. The pilot consists of two parts developed especially for self-produced departments and customer service. The main objective of both modules – to increase service quality and interactions with buyers. Read more here.

2017

Data of 2017

Performance Indicators

2019: Growth of revenue by 1.0% to 417.5 billion rubles

On February 25, 2020 Film Pielsi reported the consolidated financial results according to IFRS in a year which came to the end on December 31, 2019.

Revenue grew by 1.0% to 417.5 billion rubles (2018: 413.6 billion rubles), at the same time retail revenue increased by 4.0% to 408.0 billion rubles (2018: 392.2 billion rubles), and wholesale revenue was reduced by 55.5%;

The gross margin grew to 22.0% (+0.5 items against 2018) against the background of positive influence from the decreasing share low - marginal wholesale business in revenue and the insignificant growth of a retail margin;

Business, general running and administrative expenses increased to 18.3% of revenue (+1.6 items in comparison with 2018) against the background of the combined effect of growth of staff expenses, higher depreciation expenses in a type of change of a useful life on subjects to improvement and increase in rent costs in connection with indexation of rental rates;

The corrected EBITDA made 34.0 billion rubles, having fallen by 6.2% (2018: 36.2 billion), profitability – 8.1% (2018: 8.8%);

Non-monetary expenses of about 14.1 billion rubles, including asset impairment for the amount of 11.8 billion rubles and depreciation expenses in view of change of a useful life on subjects to improvement for the amount about 2.3 billion rubles;

Net interest expenses increased by 1.9% to 9.3 billion rubles in comparison with 2018 (9.1 billion rubles) as increase in a total debt leveled decrease in average cost of a debt;

Net loss against the background of non-monetary expenses made 2.1 billion rubles with negative profitability at the level of 0.5% in comparison with the net profit of 11.7 billion rubles and profitability of 2.9% in 2018;

Net cash from operating activities before interest payment and income tax was 42.8 billion rubles in comparison with 32.4 billion rubles in 2018 (+32.1%) that is generally caused by changes in working capital;

The capital investments made 14.1 billion rubles that is 36.1% less in comparison with 2018 (22.1 billion rubles), mainly, due to decrease in rates of development of network in comparison with previous year, strict control over expenses and change of a payment procedure for some projects which are not connected with development of network;

The company generated a positive flow of free money in the amount of 17.0 billion rubles in 2019;

The net debt for December 31, 2019 made 77.1 billion rubles against 93.3 billion rubles for the end of 2018 and 99.3 billion rubles for June 30, 2019;

The indicator "/the Corrected EBITDA" made a net debt 2.3x against 2.6kh for December 31, 2018 and 2.7kh at the time of June 30, 2019.

In 2019 8 hypermarkets and 3 supermarkets are opened in total, 3 hypermarkets and 7 supermarkets were closed during the same period;

Total number of Lenty shops as of December 31, 2019 was 380, including 249 hypermarkets and 131 supermarkets the total floor space of 1,489,497 sq.m (+1.5% against an indicator for December 31, 2018);

"Tape" changed the approach to recognition of wholesale and retail revenue and reviewed these indicators for the 4th quarter and 2018 and the 4th quarter and 2019. Review had no impact on growth of consolidated revenues of the Company;

Comparable ("LFL") 2 retail sales grew by 0.1% excluding VAT. It is equivalent to growth of retail sales by 0.9% including VAT against the background of increase in a tax rate since January 1, 2019;

LFL an average bill increased by 0.1%, LFL traffic was left without changes in 2019;

The number of active holders of cards of loyalty Tape 3 for December 31, 2019 increased by 10.1% year-on-year and reached 15.8 million people;

"Tape" opened the distribution center in Moscow with a total area of 70,990 sq.m and increased the area of a warehouse in Novosibirsk to 71,837 sq.m. Both objects contain functions which should help to optimize purchases and logistics in the company and also to keep centralization and further development of sign types of goods of Tape.

"Tape" expects increase in the floor space at the level of about 3% in 2020. This digit reflects the solution of the company to focus on improvement of indicators of work of shops and operational efficiency. Nevertheless, Tape will continue search of attractive opportunities for growth and development in the existing and new formats and also further development in a format online.

In 2020 Tape will continue to work on optimization of business, general running and administrative expenses. The company expects that as a result of implementation of the priorities set for 2020, profitability on EBITDA in 2020 will be higher, than in 2019.

"Tape" is going to invest in capital costs about 4% of revenue in 2020. It includes the smaller level of investments into organic growth and logistic infrastructure in comparison with 2019. At the same time Tape will increase costs for IT, the digital marketing and other projects directed to improvement of consumer experience in shops and the subsequent growth of operational efficiency.

The plan for development and capital costs and also the subsequent work on optimization of operational money will allow to generate positive balance of free money in 2020.

History

2020

Opening of the third supermarket in St. Petersburg

On June 29, 2020 Tape, one of retail networks of Russia, announced opening of supermarket in St. Petersburg.

The shop opened to the address Krasnoselskoye Highway, 54. The total area of supermarket is 1,145 sq.m from which 679 sq.m occupy trade space. For convenience of visitors the parking on 30 cars is equipped, in a trading floor 6 cash registers are installed. The shop works from 8 a.m. till 11 p.m., without days off.

The range of supermarket is created taking into account needs of residents of St. Petersburg and includes 8,000 names of goods. Along with products of the federal range and goods under own trademarks, products of local producers are offered buyers. The supermarket is in the leased premises.

This supermarket – one of twelve shops which were earlier belonging to SPAR. "Tape" carried out reconstruction of premises, having organized trade space in the most convenient way for different buyer categories. The arrangement of sections of shop places emphasis on fresh fruit and berries and also goods for a healthy power supply. The retail store equipment allows to increase convenience of shopping and provides the excellent presentation of food.

"Tape" took exhaustive measures for creation of the safe environment in shops for buyers and the staff of the company in the conditions of a coronavirus pandemic. All shops of Tape are equipped with stations for disinfection of hands, protective screens at the checkout and in self-produced zones for risk reduction for health. The personnel work in respirators and gloves and undergo daily control procedure of body temperature. All equipment and premises of shops are processed by disinfectants several times a day.

The open shop became the third supermarket opened by Tape in 2020. With opening of shop in St. Petersburg the company increased network up to 248 hypermarkets in 88 cities of Russia and 134 supermarkets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia, the Ural and Central region.

Start service of the order and shipment at own expense of goods from hypermarkets in seven cities

On June 23, 2020 Tape, one of retail networks of Russia, started Click & collect technology in shops of Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Veliky Novgorod, Novorossiysk, Petrozavodsk, Stavropol and Taganrog.

Residents of seven cities in which Tape started own project in the field of e-commerce can order goods on the website Lenta.com and take away the collected order in shops of retail chain stores. Clients got access to 80 percent of the range of goods, including alcoholic beverages, at the cost, identical with shop. For order placement it is necessary to become authorized in a personal account. All promotional offers and rewards programs work. It is possible to pay the order at specially selected checkout when receiving. Assembly of goods is performed by the staff of shops.

Start of own Films project as the pilot took place at the beginning of June in Vyborg and Pskov. The first buyer who used service purchased the bicycle which took away from shop in Vyborg later.

The director of service of digital marketing of Tape Alexey Ruchkin commented:

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We expand geography of our project and we leave with it to other cities. Thanks to it we will be able to understand, the model which we selected is how correctly constructed. It will allow us to build the competent scheme of work and over time to start the project in all cities of presence of the company.
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Delivery of means of protecting for clinics of St. Petersburg

On May 20, 2020 it became known that Severgroup company, the large investment company performing activities for asset management for the benefit of Alexey Mordashov supports doctors of St. Petersburg who accept every day and treat patients with COVID-19. Representatives of Ava-Peter and Lenta companies are engaged in delivery of means of protecting and work with the city administration. Read more here.

Within an initiative Tape performed quick search of producers and suppliers of qualitative respirators in China using one of global suppliers of nonfoods Li&Fung. The company signed the agreement on strategic partnership with Li&Fung at the end of 2018. Under the terms of the agreement the Chinese partner performs search of producers and places orders for products conforming to requirements of Tape and all quality standards and security set by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

"Magnet" and Tape put a marking in shops for protection against a coronavirus

On March 25, 2020 it became known that the Russian retailers began to put in shops a marking for observance of a distance between buyers. Read more here.

The beginning of installation of protective screens at the working checkout and information racks

On March 19, 2020 Tape announced the beginning of installation in hypermarkets and supermarkets of protective screens at the working checkout and information racks.

Transparent plastic screens are one of measures of prevention of spread of viral diseases. Installation in all 249 hypermarkets of network will come to the end this week, in 131 supermarkets – until the end of March.

Besides, on a floor near cash desks there will be signal stickers warning buyers about need to observe a distance in 1.5 meters from each other.

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Health and safety of employees and clients of Tape are for us a key priority. To our buyers who want to limit corporal contacts we recommend to use scanners for independent purchases and cash desks of self-service and also we advise to pay purchases with bank cards,
commented the CEO of Tape Herman of Ting
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Installation of disinfectors in all shops of network

On March 17, 2020 Tape one of large retail networks of Russia, reported about installations of disinfectors for processing of hands in all supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Disinfectors for processing of hands which buyers of Tape can use are located about inputs in shops of network. Near them posters with instructions are hung out. Tanks appeared in all 249 hypermarkets and in 131 supermarkets in 88 cities of the country.

Besides, in the preventive purposes the operation mode of vent systems is changed, the frequency of carrying out disinfection of production, sanitary and household premises and trading floors, all surfaces, carts and payment terminals increased.

The staff of the cleaning companies working in premises of Tape was trained according to the sanitary and hygienic program. The personnel of retail chain stores can also use disinfectors who in addition set in production premises and at office of the company.

Before each change at workers take body temperature. People with symptoms of catarrhal diseases are not allowed to fulfillment of duties.

Cultivation of greens in hypermarket of Novosibirsk

On March 13, 2020 Tape announced the beginning of cultivation of greens in hypermarket of Novosibirsk. It is the second city where the project started.

The greens which are grown up in Novosibirsk are delivered directly from the greenhouse in shop where place for further growth on specially equipped farm with artificial lighting. The range includes seven names earlier not available in shops of network, including keyl, a mangold, pakchy, Frize and Romano's salads.

There was a special module with nutritious mix where there will be greens and to be grown directly in a trading floor. It is sold in pots. Each buyer can get advice of the merchandiser.

"Tape" gave start to a pilot project "A farm on cultivation of greens in hypermarket" at the end of 2019 in hypermarket in the Moscow residential district of Butovo.

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We observe increase in demand for products for ZOZh therefore we expand our range to satisfy needs of modern buyers. We see that the project is interesting therefore made the decision to start it in Novosibirsk,

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2019

Transfer on utilization more than 92 tons of batteries

On March 2, 2020 Tape announced transfer on utilization more than 92 tons of batteries which were handed over by buyers in all cities of presence of the company in 2019.

Lenta company together with Duracell installed special containers for collecting of batteries in 2017 in St. Petersburg. Then 10 tons of the fulfilled batteries were collected. For March 2, 2020 248 containers are installed in all 88 cities of presence of Lenta. The batteries which are handed over in the Northern Capital send for utilization on the ecological enterprise "Mercury", in other cities – on the processing and utilization plant Megapolisresource in Chelyabinsk.

In 2019 buyers of retail chain stores handed over 92.6 tons of batteries, it is three times more, than for 2018 when 28.6 tons were collected. Most actively residents of St. Petersburg participated in the project, nearly 15 percent from a total quantity of the handed-over batteries fall to their share. More than six tons were handed over by buyers from Chelyabinsk, is twice less – from Yekaterinburg, 2.8 tons – residents of Novosibirsk, 2.5 tons – Muscovites, 2.1 tons – residents of Tomsk.

According to calculations of ecologists, one battery poisons with heavy metals of 20 square meters of the earth. If its average weight is 20 grams, buyers of Tape handed over about 4.6 million pieces in 2019 and saved more than 9.2 thousand hectares of the soil from pollution.

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Every year more and more our buyers pay attention to issues of decrease in negative impact on the environment. "Tape" installed to one of the first special containers for collecting of batteries, and we see that the demand of this service constantly increases. It is important to us to support aspiration of our buyers to improvement of an ecological situation in the cities where we live and we work therefore we attentively study a feedback and we try to implement various projects in this sphere,
commented the Director of public relations and state bodies of Tape Filippova Maria
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Start of the pilot "A farm on cultivation of greens in hypermarket"

On December 30, 2019 Tape announced Zdrav.Expert start of a pilot project "A farm on cultivation of greens in hypermarket".

The greens which are grown up on city farm in Bryansk are delivered directly from the greenhouse in shop where place for its further growth on specially equipped farm with artificial lighting. The range for the end of December, 2019 includes more than 10 names earlier not available in shops of network, including keyl, a sorrel, Mizuno, pakchy, Roksay and Romano's salads.

Buyers can get advice of the merchandiser who will tell what greens will be suitable for this or that dish. Goods can be purchased both in pots, and in the cut-off type and also to create a salad mix, unit cost – from 19 to 29 rubles. The project is implemented in hypermarket in the Moscow residential district of Butovo.

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our buyers know that they always can purchase the freshest products in Tape. There is a transition trend from mass to conscious consumption, the product demand for ZOZh therefore we expand our range that will allow to satisfy needs of the modern buyer grows,

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Threat of poisoning of products. Demand $0.5 million in bitcoins from network

On August 13, 2019 it became known that Tape received threats of poisoning of products in hypermarkets. Blackmailers demand from the retailer $500 thousand in bitcoins.

According to Fontanka, the video message with threat arrived on e-mail of call center of Tape on August 12, 2019. Anonymous authors attached the e-mail address to which suggested to transfer money,  Otherwise they threaten to poison the products which are on sale in  shops of network. The company  does not intend to fulfill the requirements.

Unknown threatened to poison goods in St. Petersburg Film
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We received a video with threats from unknown persons who demanded from us a certain amount of money, threatening to poison differently goods. Now we contacted police  — announced RBC in the press service Films.
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The police in turn brought criminal case according to Article 207 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (obviously untrue report on the act of terrorism on an object of social infrastructure). The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region reported that received the address from commercial structure and already started conducting investigation.

As reported in Tape, completely it is difficult to check goods in retail chain stores as the company has more than 3.5 thousand suppliers and 380 shops across all Russia.[1]

It is not the first attempt of blackmail of large retail network. At the end of 2005 in St. Petersburg unknown demanded $200 thousand from the management of Maxidom supermarket chain, and after failure sprayed in one of shops of network gas mercaptan therefore more than 70 people suffered. Law enforcement agencies then considered the incident hooliganism.

Cases of intended damage of products occurred earlier and abroad. So, at the end of 2018 the police of the Australian State of Queensland delayed the woman who stuck sewing needles in the strawberry deliverable at shops through the whole country.

Severgroup brought the share in Tape to 78.73%

On June 4, 2019 it became known that Severgroup LLC of Alexey Mordashov according to the results of the offer on purchase of shares of minority shareholders of retail chain stores Tape received 78.73% in the retailer.

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Till 1 p.m. (on the London time) on June 4, 2019 Severgroup obtained valid acceptances within the offer concerning securities of Lenta Ltd which in total with other securities of Lenta Ltd which are owned by Severgroup (including the GDR on the shares of Tape acquired at TPG and EBRD), in total represent about 78.73% of voting rights in Tape, says Severgroup.
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At the beginning of April Alexey Mordashov's company signed agreements with Luna Inc. (it is under control of the American TPG Group) and the EBRD about purchase about 41.9% of the stocks "Films". In total the transaction cost $729 million. The head of department of transactions in the Russian stock market of IK "Fried a finance" Georgy Vashchenko said that Severgroup would like to receive control in Tape therefore he within the offer can redeem additional shares. To the middle of May the share of Severgroup in Tape exceeded 50%.[2]

2015: Retail network No. 5 by revenue size in Russia

"Tape" – the first in size of floor spaces network of hypermarkets in Russia and the fifth among the largest retail networks of the country by revenue size for 2015. The company was founded in 1993 in St. Petersburg. "Tape" manages 142 hypermarkets in 70 cities across all Russia and 38 supermarkets in Moscow and St. Petersburg with the total floor space about 896,068 sq.m. The average floor space of one hypermarket "Lenta" makes about 6,100 sq.m, the average area of supermarket – 1,000 sq.m. The company operates with six own distribution centers for hypermarkets. The company develops several formats of hypermarkets with low prices which differ in marketing and price policy and also the range of goods of local producers. As of December 31, 2015 the staff of the Company made about 38,414 people.

2011: Meyer sells the packet

In 2011 Augustus Meyer, having integrated with three minority shareholders — Dmitry Kostygin, Sergey Yushchenko and Gleb Ognyannikov, implemented 44% of network for $1.14 billion.

2010

37 hypermarkets in 18 cities with revenue of 55 billion rub

For 2010 at the company of 37 hypermarkets in 18 cities which in 2009 provided 55 billion rubles of revenue.

The second conflict of founders

Shouts, the broken glass doors, security guards are started up in a fight … It is not dismantling of the middle of the 1990th — the action takes place in St. Petersburg in September, 2010. Two solid foreign companies, the main owners of network of Lenta hypermarkets, were not in accord on corporate procedures, and now one group storms office to expel from there competitors.

In defense the foreigner Augustus Meyer (41% of stocks), his partner Dmitry Kostygin (1% of stocks) and now the former CEO of network Sergey Yushchenko play. In attack — Luna Holdings company which has 30.7% of the stocks "Films". It, in turn, belongs to large American fund TPG and VTB Capital, child structure of VTB. Luna enjoys support of a number of minority shareholders, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

That September day the victory remained for Luna Holdings — its PSF managed to occupy office "Lenty", to expel from there from Yushchenko and to put in a chair of the CEO of the person — Dutch Jan Dyunninga behind whose shoulders of INSEAD, 10 years of work in the European discount chain Aldi and a five-year experience in Russia. After that fight war passed into a "cold" phase: the parties submitted against each other numerous claims in Russia, London and on the British Virgin Islands where Lenta Ltd., the head company of holding is registered. Opposition of two groups of shareholders continues.

Meyer and Kostygin say now that they were the victims of "oligarchical fund". TPG Capital really manages the enormous capital — $47 billion. The head office TPG is in the city of Fort Worth, in the State of Texas, and the aggressive style of the company gave a reason to remember the American saying more than once "Do not contact Texans". And though the Time magazine called the founder of TPG David Bonderman and his partners by "impudent predators", it is difficult for them to refuse success — restructuring of the problem companies not too interesting to other investors brings income in seven, and even is ten times more than invested funds.

However the last what any investment fund is interested in, is the joint-stock conflict. A task of investors — as fast as possible to increase capitalization of acquired company. For this reason TPG in the conflict with Meyer maintains most of shareholders, including the EBRD.

That the Board of Directors more than half a year was paralyzed the network opened in 2010 only one shop, for the first time on leased squares. Nevertheless from January to October, 2010 sales of Tape grew by 22%, EBITDA — for 44%, and the debt load managed to be lowered by 40%. Business develops, the cost of the company grows.

2009: Zherebtsov sold 35% of Tape of TPG and VTB Capital

In October, 2009 Zherebtsov sold 35% of Tape to consortium of TPG and VTB Capital investment funds of all for $110 million, after payment of all debts it had only a quarter of this money. The transaction was difficult, negotiations dragged on for several months — Zherebtsov and Meyer at that time already did not talk with each other at all, and investors had to communicate with everyone. (Zherebtsov refused to give Forbes interview for this article. "I am engaged in business little, I travel more, I rise to mountains" — the founder of Tape who managed to make for the last three years a round-the-world trip on the yacht reported and to open 17 Norma shops.)

It would seem, Meyer received that he wanted: the American investment fund became the major shareholder of Tape. However in April, 2010 the relations between new partners began to be heated. According to conditions of the October transaction Meyer redeemed from TPG a small part from Zherebtsov's packet, but in time he did not receive this share. In May TPG and VTB Capital unexpectedly blocked receiving by Tape the credit of €200 million.

"I consider, they purposely interfere with work of Tape — Meyer is indignant. — What for? Ask them". According to Meyer who spends the most part of time now on the Virgin Islands where there are courts, new shareholders want to receive full control over Tape though in the agreement with them it is seemingly written about shared control. "I demand only performance of agreements, and I will not stop, I will go and go forward as Terminator" — raises the voice Meyer.

According to the mentioned shareholders' agreement between Meyer and TPG, Meyer had the right to return to the place of the CEO Sergey Yushchenko, however only from approval of Board of Directors of the company and only till August 31, 2010. At the end of May council took place, but representatives of new owners left it ahead of schedule and did not append the signature under the solution that did not prevent Meyer and Kostygin to announce council taken place and on this basis to expel from Jan Dyunninga from office "Lenty". Their triumph was short.

2007: Value assessment of the company in $2 billion

Before crisis of 2008 of assessment of Tape exceeded $2 billion, and investors queued to receive a share in the company.

2006: The first quarrel

For the time being the founder of Tape Zherebtsov perfectly managed to drive. "He is a born retailer — one of market participants tells. — Comes into shop and at once sees what needs to be made for increase in sales: as there is a flow of visitors where to change lighting, where to put other side apples. And here with corporate management at it not really". Zherebtsov in an interview to Oleg Tinkov (for the program on the website Russia.ru) was recognized: "We did not think that we will create and sell the companies — were going to have money from operational means".

In 2006 Zherebtsov walked at Meyer's wedding, and in several months partners quarreled. Started missing from routine business processes of Stallions started from scratch the personal project — network of small shops "Norma" that, however, did not contradict the charter of Tape. It was not pleasant to Meyer. In December, 2006 instead of Zherebtsov the retail network was headed by the financial director of Tape Sergey Yushchenko.

At that time the company was going to issue additional stocks and to sell 15% at the exchange, however at once several large investment funds told that they are ready to purchase a share in perspective network and without the IPO. Meyer supported the idea of sale of a packet to the western funds completely, Stallions was against and suggested to redeem shares. "He was afraid that its share will be blurred and he will lose control in Board of Directors" — Kostygin considers. Now Meyer and Kostygin refused: they considered that Zherebtsov just has no means necessary for the redemption of a packet.

In May, 2007 11% of shares for $125 million were acquired by the EBRD.

And in January, 2008 the conflict erupted on new. Right after New Year's vacation of Stallions which devoted more and more time to the favourite hobby — yachting — decided to interfere with network management: he informed by e-mail of Sergey Yushchenko and several other colleagues Meyer that they are dismissed. Urgently there passed two Boards of Directors — in different structures; appointed to one Stallions the head of the company of the friend Vladimir Senkin, on another Meyer saved a position for Yushchenko. Lawsuits began.

By April, 2008, however, the conflict came to naught — the parties agreed about election of a compromise figure, Alexander Bobrov, the development director supervising construction of new shops. The economy of Russia then was on rise, stocks of retail networks grew in the price — was silly to argue when the chance profitable was provided to sell business. Meyer and Zherebtsov agreed to concede jointly the shares to one of potential investors — Carrefour, the Finnish Kesko and the Croatian Agrokor looked narrowly at Tape the American network Wal-Mart, French. Buyers offered the improbable price for Tape — estimates of $2 billion also were discussed above.

"We lacked literally few months to close the transaction" — Kostygin who could gain over $20 million for 1% is upset. In the fall the 2008th burst crisis, and negotiations stopped. From all co-owners of Tape Zherebtsov fell into the worst state. Crisis found the businessman at the height of the round-the-world regatta which developed for his Killer whale yacht unsuccessfully: at three stages Zherebtsov's team came the last, and to the port of St. Petersburg it was delivered in general on the tow. Actions of the founder of Tape were put in banks for financing of the personal Regulation project. The founder of Tape was faced by a tough choice — or to urgently find the buyer for actions, or they will be taken by banks[3].

2001: Stallions, Kostygin, Meyer

The St. Petersburg entrepreneur Oleg Zherebtsov who was engaged in trade since 1993 founded Tape. First he opened small wholesale warehouses normal for those times, by the end of the 1990th got supermarket, and in the 2001st decided to construct really large shop, the first in own way in the Northern Capital, but it did not have enough money for the project. The familiar entrepreneur Dmitry Kostygin brought together then Zherebtsov with Augustus Meyer who recently arrived in Russia from the USA who readily purchased 49% of the company.

The new investor bought a share in absolutely small business — analysts estimated Tape of all at $20-30 million, but the money brought to them was enough also for completion of hypermarket, and for purchase of sections under opening of new outlets. "Tape" began to build on hypermarket in a year, and sometimes more. And Meyer was a convenient partner — presence of the non-resident shareholder helped to agree with the western banks and partners, and he did not interfere with operational management.

In Russia Meyer first was engaged in buying up and leasing of communal flats and even founded the small hotel chain called Rand House — in honor of the author of the best-seller "The Atlas Straightened Shoulders". Financial savings, however, allowed it to make something more large-scale. Here also Kostygin appeared in time.

The solution to translate and publish the book by Ayn Rand can be considered it the most successful project. Though the novel did not bring money to Kostygin, thanks to it he got acquainted with the millionaire Meyer. That just looked for an opportunity to immortalize memory of the native of St. Petersburg, having opened something like house museum, and at the American Institute of Ayn Rand it was given contacts of Kostygin, the local admirer. They made friends at once, despite an age difference. Having brought together the American with Stallion and having organized the transaction, Kostygin in an award for services received, according to Forbes, 5% of stocks of network which he partially sold out afterwards, having gained about $20 million.

Meyer likes to repeat that he in business and digits understands little. He invested money and quietly observed nearly six years how its share rises in price, turning from tens of millions of dollars into hundreds.

Notes