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World producer of fish fillet Pacific Andes leaves the Russian market

The world's largest producer of fish fillets, the Chinese company Pacific Andes, is winding up leaving the Russian market. Over the past two years, the Chinese have halved their revenues from Russian pollock products and increased sales of fish products caught in the waters of Peru by 540% to $ 203,5 million. With the departure of the Chinese fish giant, the position of the Russian Sea - Dobycha company is strengthening in the region. Maxim Vorobyov and Gleb Frank - RBC writes today.

Analysts from Moody's, commenting on the financial statements, predict that China Fishery will continue to reduce production from Russian fish, as its strategy provides for a complete exit from business in the region. The Chinese themselves do not hide such plans: in March this year, China Fishery announced that it was refusing to work with Russian fishing companies under long-term contracts and was switching to purchasing fish on the spot market.

Pacific Andes is the world's largest producer of fish fillets. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the holding company is controlled by the family of local entrepreneurs Nge.

Two years ago, in one of its investment memorandums, Pacific Andes reported that about 60% of its fishery production falls on the Russian Far East. After that, Rosrybolovstvo appealed to law enforcement agencies with a request to verify the legality of the work of Pacific Andes in Russia, as Russian law prohibits foreign companies from fishing in the exclusive economic zone of Russia. The Russian government distributed the quotas for catch to domestic fishermen in 2008 for a period of ten years.

In late 2012, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) demanded that Pacific Andes sell its Russian fishing assets. According to the Russian department, Pacific Andes acquired stakes in Russian companies not through the mechanism of ownership of shares, but through "secret agreements", and Russian structures were only nominal owners of quotas for catching marine biological resources. The head of the FAS, Igor Artemyev, threatened the Chinese with criminal prosecution if they refused to comply with the orders of the antimonopoly department.

In January and May 2013, four fishing companies, which the FAS believed were controlled by the Chinese, were acquired for $ 540 million by the Russian Sea - Dobycha (RMD) company, owned by the brother of the Moscow Region governor Maxim Vorobyov and Gennady Timchenko's son-in-law Gleb Frank. As a result, RMD, through the acquired companies, received 13% of the all-Russian quota for catching pollock, which corresponds to 180 thousand tons of fish per year. By the end of 2013, RMD sold pollock worth $ 139 million with total revenue of $ 170 million.

In October 2013, the FAS allowed Russian Sea-Dobycha to buy two more companies that were suspected of being affiliated with foreigners. However, the deal has not yet taken place. “The negotiations, unfortunately, dragged on, and, from our point of view, it was not our fault,” RBC representative Ilya Vlasenko commented on the failed transaction to RBC.

At the same time, one of the fish market participants told RBC that Russian fishermen continue to sell fish to Chinese buyers, behind whom, as the fishermen themselves believe, is Pacific Andes. “I think this company has not given up on Russian fish, but simply changed the procurement scheme. This is too profitable business to abandon it,” said the interlocutor of RBC.

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