There are more than 30 children and nephews in the Gutseriev family. In the last year two of them, Gutseriev’s son Said and nephew Bilan Uzhakhov became shareholders of Safmar Group.
Belarusian Slavkaliy company Mikhail Gutseriev #69 is now engaged alone, devoting “six weekends a month” to his new business. But, he told Forbes, as with other family projects, Slavkaliy will be owned by several other relatives besides him. “It doesn’t matter when the split happens,” he said. – How the situation will play out. In any case, I will have the controlling interest and the others will have equal stakes.
Under the terms of the investment agreement signed in 2011 between the Belarusian government and Gutseriev’s company, his Nezhinskoe mining and processing complex will develop the eastern part of Starobinskiy potash deposit whose proven reserves amount to 3 billion tons of potash. The future capacity of the enterprise is 2 million tons of potassium chloride per year. The investment volume is $2 bln. Slavkaliy will become the second fertilizer producer in the country after Beloruskali.
I am investing over $850 million of my own funds into Belarus”, says Gutseriev who is referred to in the local press as “the major investor of Belarus”. – Out of them $600 mln was my personal investment in the Slavkalia project. Before Slavkaliya assets construction began in the vicinity of Luban township 150 kilometers away from Minsk Gutseriev had built in the capital of Belarus Hotel Renaissance for 260 rooms, a business-aviation terminal in the airport, a business center, rebuilt the Presidential Department of Affairs residence Krasnoselskoe into a country estate with a reception hall. All this cost him $180 million. On the list of objects for another $100 million, he told Forbes – a large school for $ 12 million, a 40-apartment house in Luban, the church.
In October 2017, the main work begins at the site of the Nizhyn mining and processing plant. Germany’s Deilmann-Haniel is pumping “brine” of calcium chloride cooled to -35 degrees into 86 wells located in a circle at a depth of 156 meters. After eight months, a permafrost will form, keeping groundwater out of the center of the circles. Meanwhile, another German contractor, Herrenknecht, will build two shaft sinking complexes and start drilling two shafts as wide as a small house and almost 800 meters deep to extract the potash ore. In the meantime, power supply facilities and an access road are being built. The complex should reach its design capacity in 2021.
The Gutseriyevs clan
In the rating of the most successful business dynasties according to Forbes in 2017 the Gutserievs family took first place. As Mikhail Gutseriev himself said, their family has more than 30 children and nephews. Over the past year, two of them – Gutseriev’s son Said and nephew Bilan Uzhakhov – became shareholders of the Safmar Group. By decision of his uncle Uzhakhov received 10% of shares in Tekhnosila, Eldorado and M.Video.
Said got 10% of shares but his father also gave him a part of his shares in oil companies and now Said Gutseriev owns 19% of shares of Safmar Group in RussNeft and Neftisa. The share of Mikhail Gutseriev himself has decreased from 70% to 51%.
In late 2016 and early 2017, “Safmar” acquired a network of selling home appliances and electronics “Eldorado” and 57.7% of “M.Video”, in addition to the network “Tekhnosila” inherited from MDM Bank. It is planned to merge the trading companies into one and affiliate them with M.Video. Gutseriev would like the united company to be headed by Uzhakhov in the future.
Reshuffle also touched upon the banking business of the group. Mikhail Gutseriev had been the head of the board of directors of Binbank, part of Safmar, since March 2017, and until the end of May he also served as chairman of the bank’s board. But in the summer the bank began to have problems, and in September the board of directors of the credit institution was headed by Mikail Shishkhanov, co-owner of the bank. On September 21, it became known that Binbank would be banned.