Рейтинги    07 квітня 2016 10:57

Rating the wealthiest Ukrainian agrarians

Those people who have made money in the agricultural sector are still hostages to stereotypes. In any case, such a situation is observed in Ukraine. However much it may sound offending, the unsophisticated public often takes the liberty to call them an unpleasant word “rednecks”. When it comes to owners of agricultural enterprises, most people imagine hard workers wearing checked shirts, with weathered faces and black soil under their nails.

None of the people on the list made by us complies with this image. Moreover, almost none of them have started their way to the big capital with farming. The participants of our ranking are investors who noticed the potential of the industry in due time and managed to properly formulate and implement the development and growth strategy in the market, which scarcely attracted other entrepreneurs. Why did we call those people agrarians? This is not a tribute to the habits and traditions. We use the concept of Agri in its broadest sense – by analogy with the way the sector is viewed by financiers. It is not only agriculture and animal breeding, but also processing, exporting, manufacturing of confectionery and dairy products, etc. In fairness, we would like to note that our ranking includes mainly the owners of large vertically integrated holdings, whose business chain presupposes the presence of all the elements – from producing commodities to exporting value‑added products.

Our ranking will surprise you. It will not feature some representatives on the usual lists of the richest Ukrainians. Instead, you will discover a lot of new names. Why did it happen so? When making our ranking, we took into account only agricultural assets of our heroes. Business interests of many of them are not limited to agriculture and the food industry. They own the banks, construction companies, gamble on the stock exchange, being the minority shareholders of large international corporations. We focused on the part of their capital provided by agribusiness. We also did not include private property of our participants into the total amount. If the company of our participant is public, we calculated its value considering capitalization and the exchange rates as of 10/12/2015. Then we calculated the participant’s capital through his stake in the company.

When calculating the value of non‑public companies, we used the information on their sales and production volumes, revenues and debts. We estimated a company’s value, focusing on the current trading multiples presented by London and Warsaw Stock Exchanges. Not only citizens of Ukraine are listed in our ranking. For example, you will get acquainted with George Rohr, the owner of the American NCH Group of Investment Funds. One of the largest agricultural holdings Agroprosperis was built with his money in Ukraine. In total, our ranking includes six foreigners. We consider the part of their capital earned in the Ukrainian agribusiness.

The total capital of the richest landowners on the list is $5.5 billion. Is it much? Frankly speaking, it is hardly anything compared to the assets of agro‑industrial giants at a global scale. But it is quite enough to dismantle the stereotypes tainting the image.

№1 Yuri Kosyuk

$889.5 million

Company: Myronivsky Hliboproduct

Segment: Poultry production

Фото: Владимир Мусиенко/Униан

Yuri Kosiuk does not wait for favorable moments to come for the development of his business development – he got used to create favorable conditions for his business himself. For example, in the late 1990s he founded an innovative market in Ukraine – he began selling chilled chicken. In due course, this decision has helped Kosyuk become a multimillionaire and the most successful agricultural businessman in Ukraine. His MHP controls more than half of the chicken market and is among Ukraine’s top five largest agricultural holdings. «Those who really want to achieve a result and do not lose heart, succeed: investments are coming; business is growing», says Kosyuk. While others are freezing their projects, Kosyuk is investing in the construction of new enterprises. In October 2015, MHP commissioned an oil extraction plant with a processing capacity of 1,000 tons of soybeans per day.
The first liquid fertilizer manufacturing plant in the Cherkassy Region is scheduled to be launched in December 2015. Investments in this enterprise reached 10 million hryvnias. Kosiuk is not going to stop. A seed plant worth 5 million euro is coming up next

Top 5 facts about the company:

  1. MHP produces about 60% of all Ukrainian poultry and controls 13.5% of the meat processing segment.
  2. It handles 360,000 hectares of land — it is the fourth largest land bank in the country.
  3. It exports meat to 50 countries.
  4. It has actively used meat import quotas specified by the EU. During the first nine months of 2015, the company sent 19,700 tones of poultry to the EU market.
  5. It practices the personnel assessment using a special methodology. Last year, about 1000 employees found themselves in the red zone — this is the price of effectiveness.

№ 2 Andrey Verevsky

$790 million

Company: Kernel

Segment: Sunflower oil

Фото: Владимир Гонтарь/Униан

Andrey Verevsky is not and has never been a landowner. He is an experienced investor who knows better than many of his colleagues in the market what is the price of high‑quality M&A transaction, and most importantly – how to enter into such transactions. Investment bankers, whom Verevsky works with, note that this is a case when they learn from the client and not vice versa. Verevsky’s Kernel Group is the largest producer and exporter of Ukrainian sunflower oil, sunflower seeds and grain. The holding has been created by way of numerous takeovers conducted by Verevsky since the beginning of the 2000s. Directly or indirectly, they are run by the company now – at the time when investment activity of many market participants reduced to zero.

Verevsky’s largest transaction was the purchase of his main competitor — Allseeds in 2010. This acquisition allowed the group to double its processing capacity and become a market leader at the time. Organic growth is also familiar to Verevsky, as he is investing in the development of his export. Over the past year, Kernel’s port transshipment facilities grew by 23%, to $2.4 billion. There are the things to do — the company’s export orientation allows it to stay afloat in crisis. In 2014, Kernel’s revenues increased by 14.4% – to $2.4 billion.
Verevsky’s investment activity is not limited to Ukrainian agricultural

Top 5 facts about the company:

  1. Kernel produces one third of sunflower oil in Ukraine and is the leader in this segment.
  2. It rents 390,000 hectares of land and is one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural holdings.
  3. For several years, it has been included in WIG 20 Ranking – the list of companies with the highest capitalization on WSE. From time to time, Kernel becomes the most expensive agricultural company in Europe.
  4. It has actively used meat import quotas specified by the EU. During the first nine months of 2015, the company sent 19,700 tones of poultry to the EU market.
  5. Verevsky’s holding almost became a takeover target once – Asia’s large commodity trader Noble Group took interest in Kernel in 2010.

№3 Petro Poroshenko

$594,3 million

Company: Roshen and Ukrprominvest‑Agro

Segment: Confectionery and crop farming


Фото: Shutterstock

President Petro Poroshenko has not managed to sell his business so far. It is not easy to find a buyer for Roshen — Ukraine’s largest confectionery company. Due to the difficult economic situation in the country and the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian assets are strongly undervalued. Investment bankers estimate Roshen at $3 billion.

Poroshenko’s Ukrprominvest‑Agro Holding specializes in the cultivation of sugar beet, wheat, soybean, corn and sunflower. Its land bank is 122,000 hectares. Company’s lands are located in the Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Cherkassy, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Kirovohrad Regions. One of the main business areas of Poroshenko’s agricultural holding is the cultivation of sugar beet and sugar production. In its early years, the company expected that its plants will provide Roshen Confectionery Corporation with sugar sand. But now Ukrprominvest‑Agro sugar enterprises sell sugar to other purchasers, and only 15% to Roshen. The holding has also got a mill complex and elevators. Cattle stock has reached 5,200 bearings. Ukrprominvest‑Agro is also engaged in pig production, but not large‑scale one — a total of 21,000 pigs per year

Top 5 facts about the company:

  1. Roshen Corporation is an uncontestable leader in the Ukrainian confectionery market.
  2. Gaysin sugar plant is the only one in Ukraine to run on coal, not on the expensive gas.
  3. The two holding’s sugar plants (Gaysin and Kryzhopol) control 11% of total sugar sand production in Ukraine.
  4. Ukrprominvest‑Agro is among Ukraine’s five largest manufacturers and exporters of flour.
  5. Gaysinskiy plant filled 50% of the EU sugar supply quota. In 2014, it exported over 10,000 tons of sugar to the EU.

№4 Aleksey Vadatursky

$538,9 million

Company: Nibulon

Segment: Crop farming

Фото: Юрий Багрянцев/Униан

Over the past few years, Aleksey Vadatursky has experienced a lot of upheavals – from attempts of raider seizure of his company to the deprivation of quotas on grain exports. However, Nibulon’s founder was able to stand up for his business. Vadatursky is still one of the largest Ukrainian grain traders. He continues to build his own fleet.
Nibulon’s land bank exceeds 81,000 hectares. The company grows mainly corn, sunflowers and soybeans on its lands.

Vadatursky is lucky — none of his enterprises were affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Nevertheless, the holding suffered a loss of 1.95 billion hryvnias at the end of 2014. It is all about the revaluation of assets in connection with hryvnia devaluation. Grain exports are Nibulon’s main source of revenue. Last year, he sent more than 4.2 million tons of grains and oilseeds abroad. Since 2010, Nibulon has been receiving loans from EBRD. In late August, the EBRD announced organizing a syndicated loan for the company in the amount of $130 million for the development of export sales. Financial  institutions trust Vadatursky because the businessman has an impeccable credit history

Top 5 facts about the company:

  1. Nibulon is the leading grain exporter. It has about 11% share of total Ukrainian grain exports.
  2. It sells grain to 30 countries including Egypt, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
  3. Nibulon has implemented the Ukrainian rivers dredging projects to improve navigation. In October 2015, the Southern Bug dredging project worth 100 million hryvnias was launched.
  4. In 2014, the company’s cargo fleet transported 620,000 tons of agricultural products.
  5. In 2015, Nibulon was ranked among the top 500 largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe by Deloitte.

№5 Oleg Bakhmatyuk

446,2 million

Company: UkrLandFarming

Segment: Egg production and crop farming


Over the past two years, Oleg Bakhmatyuk’s agribusiness has been on a burning platform. Although the businessman’s basic principle is to never stop, the development of his agricultural holding is suspended today. “We had a three‑year strategic development plan. We have refined it to the greatest extent possible”, says the businessman. Bakhmatyuk is untying credit knots.

The country’s largest landowner’s debts are significant – about $1.3 billion. In October, the UkrLandFarming owner managed to persuade the creditors of his Avangard egg holding to restructure Eurobonds worth $200 million. But Bakhmatyuk have recently had other worries. Last year, his company’s consolidated revenue fell by 37%, to $419.618 million, and the loss amounted to nearly $27 million. Due to the hostilities in Donbas, the businessman had to close four poultry farms in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. Moreover, due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, he lost his Yuzhnaya‑Holding poultry farm.

Top 4 facts about the company:

  1. Avangard Holding’s share in the industrial egg market in Ukraine is 49%. It also controls 91% of the dried egg product market.
  2. UkrLandFarming Holding controls the largest land bank in Ukraine — 654,000 hectares.
  3. During the year, due to the loss of factories in Donbas and Crimea, chicken stock of Avangard enterprises was reduced by 48% — to 16 million.
  4. During the year Avangard’s stock fell by 88.56% on the London Stock Exchange. This is the greatest decline among all publicly quoted agricultural companies in Ukraine.

№6 George Rohr

$343,4 million

Company: Agroprosperis

Segment: Grain growing


George Rohr, the founder of NCH Capital, a group of direct investment funds, is one of the most reserved businessmen in the world and one of the most far‑seeing ones.
An American with Ukrainian roots, Rohr senses very well where the wind blows and invests in the businesses that have the best result. NCH investments cover many industries: from retail and real estate to Internet services.
The agrarian business is one of the most successful Rohr’s investments. NCH invests in agricultural sectors of Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Romania and Russia.

The total area of the land bank controlled by the group of companies is 820,000 hectares. About 450,000 hectares out of these are concentrated in Ukraine. The local Agroprosperis holding owned by George Rohr is among Ukraine’s five largest land-owning firms. Six companies incorporated in Agroprosperis specialize in growing grains and oilseeds.

№ 7 Boris Kolesnikov

$175.2 million

Company: Kyiv‑Konti, APK‑Invest

Segment: Confectioneries, pig breeding

Фото: Олег Петрасюк/Униан

In his youth Boris Kolesnikov used to work as a salesman and a carpenter. He earned his first capital in early 1990s through the exchange of a large sugar batch for cookies. Now Kolesnikov’s Kyiv‑Konti is the second largest producer of confectionery products with only Petro Poroshenko’s Roshen Corporation ahead. In 2013 Kolesnikov intended to sell his confectionary business. According to the entrepreneur, the company was valued $1.2 billion at that time. But last April Kolesnikov changed his mind stating that he would stay in the business for at least ten years.

“The company’s future is great”, businessman said. Kolesnikov wanted to withdraw from the confectionery business in order to focus fully on pig breeding. His APK‑Invest controls 18% of the Ukrainian pork market and is the market leader. Kolesnikov is Rinat Akhmetov’s childhood playmate and a vice president of Ukrainian’s wealthiest Shakhtar football club.

№ 8 Aleksandr Petrov

$129 million

Company: Industrial Milk Company

Segments: Milk production, crop farming

Петров А.Л.

The founder, main shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Industrial Milk Company (IMK), Aleksandr Petrov abruptly changed his life after the army service. A military doctor became a businessman. In 1998, he purchased Kremenchug milk processing plant (the Poltava Region). In 2007, Petrov sold his Cheese Club Company to Russian Renaissance Group.

The history of IMK began in 2010. The holding is engaged in milk production and cultivation of grains and oilseeds. For this purpose, it rents approximately 137,000 hectares of land. Since 2011, a 24% stake in IMK has been traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Last year, IMK revenues increased by 20.5%, to $138.27 million; its EBITDA grew by 16%, to $57.4 million. Focusing on export has helped the company to achieve these financial results. 85% of 705,000 tons of grain went to foreign markets.

№ 9 Sergey and Alexander Buriak

$121.6 million

Company: Svarog West Group

Segment: Crop farming

Фото: Андрей Скакодуб/Униан

Svarog’s main businesses are crop farming, horticulture, as well as dairy and meat cattle breeding. The holding farms 80,000 hectares and made a stake on natural soybean without genetic modification.
Buriak brothers are confident that their products will be in demand — one ton of natural soybean is $120 more expensive than the modified ones. In order to increase the soybean seeds, Svarog plans to increase its land bank to 100,000 or 120,000 hectares in the nearest future.

The company has been a Ukrainian leader in grain yield for four years now. For example, the company’s yield of winter crops is twice as high compared to other agricultural holdings. In addition, the company is also the most efficient crop farming company in Ukraine — its EBITDA per hectare is $700.

№ 10 Victor Ivanchik and Valery Korotkov

$118.6 million

Company: Astarta‑Kiev (Ivanchik 37%; Korotkov 25.99%)

Segment: Sugar and milk production, grain growing

Без имени-4

Both businessmen have got MBA, but started as regular engineers. Victor Ivanchik has 37.8% of Astarta shares and Valery Korotkov ‑ 25.99%. During 12 years of partnership they bought nine sugar mills and collected 245,000 hectares of land bank. A year ago, the company launched Ukraine’s largest soybean processing plant with the capacity of 220,000 tons per year. In 2014, Astarta’s EBITDA increased by 1.85 times up to Euro 119.57 million.

During the last year, the holding managed to get funding of $35 million from IFC, Euro 20 million from EBRD and Euro 50 million the European Investment Bank. In October the company received a permission to export corn to China. In July it delivered the first batch of heifers to Kazakhstan.

№ 11 Eugene and Maryna Sigal

$109.5 million

Company: Agromars (50% each)

Segment: Poultry breeding

Фото: Александр Прокопенко/Униан

Eugene Sigal entered the chicken market when he built Gavrilovka Poultry Complex in the village of Gavrilovka of the Kyiv Region, but after a couple of years his Agromars gave the pas to Yuri Kosiuk’s Myronivsky Hliboproduct. “Eugene was passive and didn’t buy anything. Many factories I’ve bought e were first offered to him”, said Kosyuk in one of his interviews. The basic principle of Sigal’s business is: “If we earn then we develop, we do not earn then we do not develop”. He now controls about 15% of the poultry meat market. Agromars has always been a family company.

Once in the late 1990s Sigal entered politics, his wife Maryna took lead of the business.
Agromars was one of the first companies that received a permit to supply its products to the EU, but still no shipments were made. Ukrainian products cannot compete with European ones due to high import duties.

№ 12 Boris Belikov and Vitali Veresenko

$103.9 million

Company: Ovostar (50% per each partner)

Segment: Poultry breeding

Stil 2008 Veresenko and Belikov worked separately — each had his own company. The businessmen were pushed to merge their assets by their common rival — the founder of the Avangard egg holding Oleg Bakhmatyuk. His company quickly gained momentum, and it was possible to stem the onslaught only by joint efforts.

Today, Ovostar Union is the second (after Avangard) largest producer of eggs and egg products, as it controls 8% of Ukrainian market. The company’s share in the production of liquid egg products reached 90%. Since June 2011 the group’s shares are traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Now the egg holding capitalization is $135 million. Last year, the group’s turnover reached almost $75 million and EBITDA — $29 million. The partners say that there are still no conflicts between them at all.

№ 13 Taras Barschovsky

$100.3 million

Company: T.B.Fruit

Segment: Juice and concentrate production


It took Barschovsky just eight years to set up an apple empire. In 2003, he invested the first $200,000 in equipment for the production of apple concentrate, and in 2011, the entrepreneur merged all his businesses — concentrate production plants, cargo transportation and gardens in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova — into T.B.Fruit group of companies.

In Ukraine, Barschovsky owns six juice concentrate plants located in the Kharkiv, Khmelnytsky, Lviv and Vinnitsa regions. The businessman has already entered US and Canada markets, and the Middle East countries and offered his products there. Directly squeezed juices are sold under the TM Galicia in the domestic and EU markets. T.B.Fruit actively works on widening its product range: this year it started the production of concentrate from beets and carrots. Barschovsky likes travelling, soccer and skiing.

№ 14 Vsevolod Kozhemiako

$76.3 million

Company: Agrotrade

Segment: Growing and export of grain


Фото: Игорь Чекачков

Philologist by education, Vsevolod Kozhemiako needed only four years to understand what business area would be profitable in Ukraine in the coming years. In 1998 he founded East‑Ukrainian Agricultural and Industrial Company which sold grain and sugar products, as well as supplied fuel to agricultural enterprises. During 2014/15 season, his Agrotrade company was ranked 10th in terms of export, with the sales of 0.8 million tons of grain.

The company’s revenue in 2014 exceeded $310 million, and EBITDA — $13.5 million. Agrotrade owns 17 agricultural enterprises in the Chernihiv, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Poltava regions, 11 elevators with total storage capacity of 550,000 tons of grain, and a seed plant. The main investment areas in the past year were the granaries. The company invested $5.2 million in the construction of the second phase of the Chernihiv elevator to store 22.2 thousand tons of grain.

№ 15 Stanislav Voitovich

$70 million

Company: Terra Food

Segment: Production of dairy products

Президент компании С.А.Войтович

Terra Food Group includes six companies: four milk processing factories, meat‑processing plant and Zelena Dolyna agricultural farm with a land bank of 28,000 hectares. The group founder, Stanislav Voitovich remembers the metrics of any of them. One of the businessman’s features is a tough expressive manner of communication. But it gives excellent results.

“Expression is a means to find responsible and reliable managers,” he explains. Voitovich is sure that a good manager should always have his own opinion and charisma. Over the past five years, his company hit top five largest players in Ukraine’s dairy market with a share of more than 11% — thanks to his managers.

But Voitovich is not limited to the domestic market — Terra Food exports its products to more than three dozen countries. Voitovich is keen on history, as well as collecting works of Ukrainian artists and sculptors.

№ 16 Tatiana Zasukha

$69,3 million

Company: Svitanok Company

Segment: Grain growing, livestock breeding

фото: Виктор Побединский

Tatiana Zasukha has been working at the same enterprise — Shchors collective farm for many years, and never left it. She came there to work as a chief livestock expert.

In 2000, the collective farm was renamed Svitanok and became a private enterprise possessed by Zasukha. Three years ago, when she didn’t get into Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Ukrainian Parliament), she started to grow the company’s assets very actively.

The business lady bought five farms in the Kiev and Zhitomir Regions.
As a result, the land bank of Svitanok grew to 20,000 hectares. Now the company specializes in growing grain and sugar beets, as well as the breeding of pigs and the cattle. The company has its own meat processing plant, a bakery shop and a shop for the production of pasta.

№ 17 Yuri Lebedin

$65 million

Company: Chysta Krynytsia

Segment: Crop farming

People like Yuri Lebedin are called ‘self‑made’. The entrepreneur has founded an agricultural holding in his native village Drabinovka. Now the company’s land bank is about 50,000 hectares. This agricultural season, Lebedin focuses on growing sunflower crops. The businessman increased its sowing by 30%. At the same time, the entrepreneur reduced corn sowing by 25% due to low global prices.

Lebedin sells his products to international traders. As a result of the national currency devaluation, holding’s revenues in local currency increased in the 2014‑2015 marketing year — they doubled to almost 1 billion hryvnias, and the holding’s EBIDTA reached $500 per hectare. Running his company without any loan funds has helped Lebedin to achieve high efficiency. However, last year the businessman made no investments in new equipment or land bank expansion because of constant dollar exchange rate fluctuations.

№18 Victor Ponomarchuk

$62 million

Company: ViOil

Segment: Sunflower oil production


Фото: Александр Лобанов/LANDLORD

This year Victor Ponomarchuk’s ViOil entered the list of the top three producers of sunflower oil — its market share reached 8%. In mid‑2000s ViOil closed the top ten list with the market share of 2–3%. Due to the absence of multi‑million foreign currency loans ViOil survived the 2008–2009 crisis safely and even launched two elevators and upgraded Vinnytsia plant. Ponomarchuk prefers to work for export and is in a constant search of new markets. He was the first to discover Chinese market for Ukraine.

The businessman is exporting to 50 countries. In 2014 ViOil became the fastest‑growing company on the market. For the 2013/14 marketing year its EBITDA grew by more than a half, to $53.86 million, and the revenue was up 40%, to $383.4 million. During the ongoing crisis Ponomarchuk is looking for growth opportunities again. In the coming year ViOil plans to increase the capacity of Vinnytsia plant by 33%.

№ 19 Alexander Mostipan

$60.4 million

Company: Niva Pereyaslavschiny

Segment: Pig breeding


Alexander Mostipan, the deputy of the Kiev Regional Council, refused to go to these elections. Niva Pereyaslavschiny, his pig‑breeding company, attracted large loans from EBRD ($30 million) and IFC ($25 million). «These organizations do not cooperate with those who are engaged in both business and politics», explains Mostipan his decision.

The funds are needed for the development and refinancing of its medium‑term loans. In particular, by 2018 Mostipan plans to build four new pig breeding complexes with the capacity of 30,000 commodity pigs per year each. In three years the owner of Niva Pereyaslavschiny intends to become the largest pig breeder of the country with 600,000 livestock. Now Niva Pereyaslavschiny sells over 210,000 commodity pigs per year, and about 70,000 pigs are processed at its own enterprise in Pereyaslav‑Khmelnytsky that produces meat and sausage products under its own brand Pyatachok.

№ 20 Sergei Tarasov

$57 million

Company: Agrospetsservice

Segment: Crop farming


Фото: Андрей Скакодуб/Униан

In his youth Tarasov worked as musician in restaurants. But in the 1090’s this profession ceased to bring money and Tarasov went into business. He had to master the basics of the new profession by self‑learning. He bought a lot of books and went to Cyprus with them, where he did not leave his hotel room for nearly a week busy with reading. But now his Agrospetsservice is one of the most efficient agricultural companies of the country. Last year its EBITDA per hectare was $520.

Agrospetsservice plants grain and oilseeds as well as sugar beets. The group has a sugar mill, an elevator and its own trading company. Tarasov exported almost all his products, so he received his revenues in foreign currency. The businessman plans to double his land bank and develop a new business area — pig breeding. Tarasov is going to invest 16 million euro in construction of a pig farm with the capacity of 5.25 thousand of breeding stock. But the agrarian remains a musician deep in his heart. He loves jazz music and often attends concerts.

№ 21 Alexander Kuzminsky

$54.5 million

Company: Globino

Segment: Pig breeding, meat processing

Фото: Евгений Малолетка/Униан

Alexander Kuzminsky earned his capital on the sale of meat and milk. Globino meat processing plant was created by him in the late 1990s. «We started with one ton of sausages per day», businessman says. Now Globino produces about 100 tons of meat products daily. For nearly two decades Kuzminsky built a vertically integrated complex with closed production cycle and sale of finished products.

All the capacities of the corporation are located in the Poltava Region. In 2014 Globino pig farm was the second largest pork producer, behind only Boris Kolesnikov’s APK‑Invest. Globino’s breeding stock reached almost 13,000 units (APK‑Invest — 21,000). Globino Corporation is now a Ukrainian leader in sausage production. Globino Group includes a meat processing plant, a butter making plant, a pig farm, a meat and dairy complex and a trading house. Kuzminsky is a fan of spiritual practices taught by business coach Marc Palchik.

№ 22 Viktor Kupavtsev and Viktor Kiyanovsky

$52.1 million

Company: Rostok‑Holding

Segment: Crop farming


One of the founders of Rostok‑Holding Group, Viktor Kupavtsev adheres to the theory that every person has positive energy. In order to find yourself, it is necessary to use it in a right way. He has fulfilled himself in agriculture. His company has 60,000 hectares in the Chernigov and Sumy Regions.

“I was told that the sunflower would not grow there, but we collect thirty centners of it per hectare today”, says Kupavtsev. By 2020, Kupavtsev is going to rent 40,000 hectares more. Due to a crop rotation technology, yields on the company’s fields are 1.5 times higher than the Ukrainian average. Rostok‑Holding bets on the cultivation of wheat, corn, sunflower and soybean. It exports these agricultural crops to the Middle East, South Africa, Asia, Europe and the CIS.

№ 23 Oleg Vasilyev and Larisa Ostapenko

$43.9 million

Company: Lustdorf (50% each)

Segment: Milk processing

Lustdorf works only with very special quality milk. If the raw material is of lower quality than required by Lostdorf’s quality assurance specialists its lines just stop. Farm milk is delivered to the company as fast as within two hours. The company widely applies innovative technologies of raw material processing, such as ultra-pasteurization and steaming. In both cases milk is immediately heated to 1,400 degrees Celsius/ Then it is quickly cooled down to 200 degrees.

Lustdorf bet on the Ukrainian market, where it sells 95% of its products. The rest is exported to other countries. Moldova, Transnistria, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus are among Lustdof’s clients.

Last year, the company changed the packaging design — its checkered pattern was changed by Ukrainian national embroidery.

№ 24 Fedor Shpig and Aleksandr Derkach

$40.6 million

Company: Milk Alliance (Shpig 25%; Derkach 15%)

Segment: Milk processing

Фото: Евгений Малолетка/Униан

In 2014, after the Russian market was closed, Milk Alliance reduced its production by 20%. The company manages to compensate losses caused bye cheese sales slump, at least partially, by producing butter and milk powder. Now the holding company actively promotes Yagotinske for Children baby milk products in Ukraine (taking into account that the main competitor, Danone Company, suspended the production of children’s dairy products Teyma).

Milk Alliance is looking for new markets; it is waiting for approval from the European Commission to supply its products to the EU. The company has also developed a special product for the Chinese market — highly demineralized whey D‑90 for baby food production. However, it is necessary to sign an interstate agreement to begin deliveries to China.

№ 25 Alexey Kovalenko and Alexandra Rud

$38 million

Company: Vladimir‑Volynskay poultry farm (Kovakenko 49%; Rud 51%)

Segment: Poultry keeping

Без имени-1

During five years Alexey Kovalenko and Alexandra Rud invested a quarter of a billion hryvnias in the production lines. This nearly doubled the output of chicken meat production, to 55,000 tons per year. As a result, Vladimir‑Volynskaya poultry farm became the third largest producer of poultry in Ukraine. They are not going to compete with the industry leaders, Yuri Kosiuk’s Myronivsky Hliboproduct and Agromars Complex of Eugene Sigal (its share is about 15%).

The company is going to develop an organic meat niche: it will completely stop using antibiotics and is going to use only eco‑friendly feed. The the company also processes 3,000 hectares of land, and its land bank will increase to 40–50,000 hectares in the future. Last year the company’s revenue amounted to 832 million hryvnias and EBITDA was 145 million hryvnias.

№ 26 Vladimir Bartsos

$32.4 million

Company: Vinnytsia Agro‑Industrial Company

Segment: Crop farming


One of Vinnytsia Agro‑Industrial Company’s advantages is a compact land bank — almost all of its crops are located in the Vinnytsia Region. In just six years, it grew from 2,000 to 50,000 hectares. Vladimir Bartsos bet on high‑margin crops — corn, barley, sunflower and soybean. Last year, the company’s EBITDA was $347 per hectare. The holding has managed to reduce production costs due to its own production of organic fertilizers — the biofermentation facility was built in the barn of a former poultry farm.

The company also uses the No‑till minimum tillage technology. During 2014‑2015 marketing year, its revenues increased 40%, to 800 million hryvnias. This season, Bartsos hopes to increase turnover up to 1.1‑1.2 billion hryvnias. He also plans to expand its land bank by 10,000 hectares and build his own seed plant with a capacity of 10 tons per hour.

№ 27 Joakim Helenius

$31.6 million 

Company: Trigon Agri

Segment: Grain and oilseeds growing


The Estonian investor founded Trigon Agri agricultural holding in 2006 and registered it in Denmark. Today, the company processes 47,000 hectares in Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and Kirovograd regions. Trigon Agri specializes in the production of grain and oilseeds, and also owns five elevators with a total storage capacity of 322,000 tons. This year, the company expects to collect 167,000 tones of agricultural crops in Ukraine. Trigon Agri develops dairy farming in Russia and Estonia.

Early in 2015, the agricultural holding had to ask the holders of its bonds for a two‑year extension of their maturity, until August 31, 2017. At the same time the company management agreed to provide a guarantee for securities in the form of shares in its subsidiaries, as well as to sell non‑core assets in Estonia and Russia. In the first half of 2015, the net debt amounted to 64.5 million euro. Since December 2010, Trigon Agri shares have been traded on the main market of NASDAQ OMX Stock Exchange in Stockholm.

№ 28 Peter Rud

$30.6 million

Company: Rud

Segment: Milk processing, semi‑finished goods


After becoming a chief executive officer of Zhitomir Butter‑Making Plant back in 1992, Peter Rud gradually made the enterprise private and organized a family company. The Supervisory Board is chaired by his daughter, Oksana. And his son‑in‑law, Sergey Vivsyk, is the company’s chief executive officer.

Despite the loss of the Russian market due to the Russian government’s «counter-sanctions», as well as market loss in Donbass and Crimea, the company finished 2014 with good result: its net profit amounted to 71.6 million hryvnias.

This year Peter Rud will continue to launch new food products, such as organic and fruit‑berry ice cream. It also plans to increase its exports to other countries. Rud’s plant produces dairy products, butter, powered skimmed milk, butter milk, sour cream, yogurt and cheese, and frozen fruits and vegetables.

№ 29 Alla Kovalenko

$28.2 million

Company: Biscuit‑Chocolate

Segment: Confectioneries

Alla Kovalenko, the president of Biscuit‑Chocolate, has been running the company for almost three decades now. But she did not become a pastry chef immediately — her first employee was Kharkiv Fat Processing Plant. Kovalenko likes sweets from the childhood, so when she was asked to take charge of Kharkiv Confectionery Factory, she agreed without hesitation. She explains her success by the fact that she, as a chess player, can figure out everything a few steps forward. «For me, the two Kharkiv confectionery companies are not just business, they are my life’s work», says Kovalenko.

For many years Biscuit‑Chocolate holds the fourth place at the Ukrainian confectionery market. Its last year’s earnings were around 1 billion hryvnias. The company supplies about 40% of its products to foreign customers. In particular, its confectioneries exports to the EU increased by 128%.

№ 30 Rafael Goroyan

$26 million

Company: Prometheus

Segment: Grain trading


Rafael Goroyan admits that he likes trading most of all. «I can do it and I am fond of it. For almost 20 years I do trust this business to any one», says the businessman. His company Prometheus is one of top twenty exporters of Ukrainian grain and has been increasing its sales during the last three years. In the 2014–2015 marketing year, it sold 369,000 tones of grains and oilseeds.

The businessman does not like the idea of vertical integration. He believes that each company should have its own specialization, like in the EU. One of Goroyan’s principles is not to take any loans. This business strategy pays off — Prometheus’ net profit margin is higher than that of vertically integrated holdings that grow by borrowings. In the past marketing year was 8.6%, and the industry‑average rate was 5%. Prometheus does not pay any interest on loans. The company’s revenue exceeded $95 million.

№ 31 Sergey Kostyuchko

$25 million

Company: Agro‑Express‑Service

Segment: Crop farming


Being a graduate from Lutsk Medical School and the KGB Higher School of the USSR, Sergey Kostyuchko came to agribusiness 15 years ago. Initially, his Agro‑Express‑Service rented only 3,500 hectares of land. Now the holding is handling 50,000 hectares in Rivne and Ternopil Regions. Agro‑Express‑Service grows corn, rape and sugar beets, as well as is engaged in animal husbandry (the company has got about 3,000 head of cattle).

In 2010, Kostyuchko graduated from Lviv National Agrarian University with a degree in agronomy. Yields from his fields are among the highest in the region now: Agro‑Express‑Service collects more than 50 centners of winter wheat per hectare, and 450 centners of sugar beet per hectare. “Success does not come without efforts. Its components are a modern technology, high production process organization and, of course, commitment and responsibility”, says Kostyuchko.

№ 32 Viktor Zavorotniy

$24.6 million

Company: Agro‑Oven

Segment: Meat production and crop farming


The first 6,500 hectares of land were rented by Viktor Zavorotniy in Dnipropetrovsk Region in 1996. Today, his Agro‑Oven handles 16,000 hectares, 600‑700 hectares of which are planted with potatoes. The company has got its own crop processing and storage plant with a capacity of 20,500 tons per year. Agro‑Oven is among the five largest broiler meat producers, occupying the market share of more than 5%. The company has got its own incubator, two meat‑processing plants and two feed mills.

This year it has received the Halal certificate, which will allow it to start exporting to such countries as Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan. Agro‑Oven is also engaged in pork and beef production. The corporation sells its products under Dlya Svoyikh, Zolotko and Svoya Kartoplya brand names. It has got its own trading network — Dom Myasa.

№ 33 Viktor Veretennikov

$22.9 million

Company: Pridneprovsky Combine

Segment: Milk processing


Viktor Veretennikov has headed Pridneprovsky Combine for more than a quarter century. Veretennikov owns 61.46% of company’s stock, his son Andrey — 10.78%. Now the company is among Ukraine’s ten largest producers of dairy products, — it processes over 250 tons of milk daily. The company sells premium milk, yogurt and chocolate glazed cheese bars under the trademarks Zlagoda, Lyubimchik and Lіnіya Zhyttya. Some products are exported to

Belarus and Kazakhstan. Last year, Pridneprovsky Combine increased its net profit 12%, to 11.6 million hryvnias; the company’s net income hit more than 710 million hryvnias. The businessman wrote seven novels, five of which are filmed. The most famous film is a psychological drama Zagrava, filmed in 2011. The author of the novel was its producer and director. In late October, the film Hetman about Bohdan Khmelnytskiy was released. Veretennikov became its scriptwriter and producer.

№ 34 Miodrag Kosti

$17.2 million

Company: Agro Invest Ukraine

Segment: Crop farming


Handling about 30,000 hectares of land in the Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Cherkassy Regions, Agro Invest Ukraine is only a small part of the business empire of the richest Serbian Miodrag Kosti. In Serbia, his MK Group is engaged in the production of sugar, grain, meat, as well as trade and hotel business. For 10 years, the Serbian businessman has managed to build one of the most efficient companies that grow grains and oilseeds in Ukraine.

During the decade Kosti invested about $65 million in Agro Invest. The use of an innovative soil treatment technology helps Agro Invest get high yields. For example, corn yields at the company’s fields amount to 82 centners per hectare, whereas the average in Ukraine is 61 tons per hectare. Despite the unstable political and economic situation in our country, Kosti decided to continue investing in Agro Invest. The company has recently sold the tenancy of 10,000 hectares mainly in the Zhytomyr Region, which are not suitable for the cultivation of the primary crop for the company — corn.

№ 35 Vitali Vinnitsky

$12.8 million

Company: Vitmark‑Ukraine

Segment: Juice production

Vitali Vinnitsky’s Vitmark company is Ukraine’s number two player in the juice market (second only to Sandora) with a market share of over 26%. Vinnitskiy has always been betting on latest marketing innovations. For example, Nash Sik juice packaged in white unpainted cartons is considered one of the best marketing decisions in the Ukrainian market.  “The juice flew off the shelves. It was sold so well that all the raw commodities we stored for its production were running out by April”, says Vinnitskiy.

The company exports its products to 21 countries, including the United States of America, Australia and Singapore. Last year, the share of exported goods in the total sales of Vitali Vinnitsky’s company amounted to 14%.
Vitmark compensates the loss of access to the Russian market in mid‑2014 (it accounted for over 3 million liters of juice per year) by increased shipments to other markets. In particular, the company expects to grow its export to the European Union significantly.

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