HomeWorld NewsAlexander Govor: The Siberian billionaire behind the ‘Russian McDonald’s’ | NEWSRUX

Alexander Govor: The Siberian billionaire behind the ‘Russian McDonald’s’ | NEWSRUX

Vkusno i Tochka (“Tasty and That’s It”), the Russian successor chain to McDonald’s, has opened its first 15 branches in Moscow after the American quick meals large deserted the nation in protest towards Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald’s departure, a part of a mass industrial exodus from Russia in response to its assault on its neighbour on 24 February, was significantly symbolic on condition that the opening of its first restaurant in Moscow’s Pushkin Sq. on 31 January 1990 marked the dawning of Western consumer-capitalism within the former coronary heart of the Soviet Union.

A reported 30,000 Russians queued that day for Massive Macs and Coca-Cola, their first style of mass-produced prosperity.

That flagship eatery has now been rebranded with Vkusno i Tochka’s brand and serves solely unlicensed imitation hamburgers, fries and sodas, with not a McFlurry in sight, though its slogan guarantees: “The identify adjustments, love stays.”

“Our objective is that our company don’t discover a distinction both in high quality or atmosphere,” says Oleg Paroev, who’s working the brand new enterprise having headed up McDonald’s Russian operations for seven years.

The person bankrolling the enterprise is Russian billionaire Alexander Govor, who purchased the 850 McDonald’s shops within the nation for a payment neither aspect has but disclosed, retaining all 62,000 workers for not less than two years as a part of the settlement.

Mr Govor, who beforehand launched a franchise of 25 McDonald’s eating places in his native Siberia in 2015, has mentioned he intends to reopen all shuttered branches inside two months and develop to 1,000 as quickly as attainable.

“I’m very happy with the honour that growing this enterprise has given me,” he mentioned earlier this month. “I’m bold and I don’t solely plan to open the 850 eating places however to develop new ones.”

A cashier speaks with prospects at one of many newly-opened quick meals eating places on Bolshaya Bronnaya Road in Moscow


Mr Govor has pledged to take a position RUB7bn (£98.63m) within the mission this yr, in response to Reuters, though the BBC has reported that the sanctioned financial institution Sovcombank might have supported the acquisition because the tycoon will not be thought to have had adequate funds accessible to safe the deal alone.

The person himself hails from the economic metropolis of Novokuznetsk within the south west of Siberia and earned his fortune in coal mining, co-owning the pure assets firm Yuzhkuzbassugol in his hometown.

Thriving throughout the period of financial liberalisation beneath Boris Yeltsin within the Nineties, Yuzhkuzbassugol was supported by Evraz, owned by former Chelsea FC boss Roman Abramovich, till its operations had been suspended in 2007 in response to an industrial accident that left 100 miners useless, which enabled the latter to accumulate the corporate outright.

Kitchen workers making fires on the Bolshaya Bronnaya Road department


Mr Govor reportedly then turned his consideration in direction of oil, buying the Yaisky refinery in 2013, which he nonetheless co-owns by his 50 per cent stake in development firm Neftekhimservis.

His different holdings reportedly embody a 50 per cent stake in a small forestry agency and 25 per cent in a fishing and searching firm, in response to the Interfax information company.

He additionally sits on the board of administrators of Inrusinvest, which has tasks together with a medical centre and a Park Inn lodge in Novokuznetsk, and based Sibirskaya Milyona, a meat and dairy enterprise.

Mr Govor is a self-declared patron of the humanities and a eager collector of classic vehicles, 40 of which he reportedly donated to his hometown museum.

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