With the acquisition, Virma wins a long-lasting fight with the powerful Intraros, a group closely associated with business tycoon Gennady Timchenko. The two companies were the only bidders for the state-owned fleet. Intraros offered 80 million rubles less that Virma, newspaper Vedomosti reports.
The Arkhangelsk Trawler Fleet is with its significant quotas one of the major players in the Russian fish industry. The company owns a total of 21 trawlers and controls major infrastructure as well as a fish processing plant. As previously reported, the privatization of the fleet has been followed by a major political hassle between conflicting corporate and public interests. The Arkhangelsk regional administration has from its side stressed that the company must remain based in the region in order to meet social obligations.
After several years of major deficits, the company in 2012 had a net profit of 32,9 million rubles.
The new owner of the Arkhangelsk trawlers is a company controlled by the Union of Northern Fish Processors (SRPS), a powerful group of industrial interests, many of them based in Murmansk. The SRPS reportedly controls 100 percent of the Russian crab quotas and as much as 40 percent of halibut quotas. The company controls a total of 15 crab fishing vessels and several trawlers. According to sources in the fishery industry, the owners of the SRPS are Dmitry Ozersky and Gennady Mirgorodsky, Vedomosti reports.