The nationalisation of Spartak and Kommunarka confectionery factories turns out to be more than the tarnished investment image for the authorities.
The Belarusian confectioners may found themselves deprived of the main sales channel in the Russian market, Zavtra Tvoyei Strany reports.
Belkonditer company has been in charge of selling Belarusian confectioneries to the country's eastern neighbour since 2006. A correspondent of Zavtra Tvoyei Strany figured out that the Russian register of legal entities names a US national as the only founder of Belkonditer limited liability company. It is most likely to be Marat Novikov, who has recently lost control over Spartak and Kommunarka factories, but still keeps in hands the main mechanism of selling almost all Belarusian sweets in the Russian market.
Belkonditer company controls export flows of two factories, in which Marat Novikov's structures used to own shares (Spartak and Kommunarka) and the enterprises controlled by means of other mechanisms (Krasny Mozyryanin, Slodych). Belkonditer also worked with products of Vitba confectionery factory.
Among Belarus's big confectionery factories, only Krasny Pishchevik and Ivkon exported their products without Belkonditer. Krasny Pishchevik has a specialised entity in Saint Petersburg. Ivkon trades via a partner company that also sells other Belarusian products – dairy and meat ones.
When Russian confectioners deprived Belarus of the rights to sell candies in Russia under such famous brands as Krasnaya Shapochka, Alionka, Mishka Kosolapy, Korovka, Truffles, Teatralnaya, Dushes, Marat Novikov announced confectionery expansion under new brands – Melani, Polesie Gifts, Konfetoff and Telyonok Borka. In addition to wholesaler Belkonditer, the businessman planned to open a chain of retail shops and cafés as a new channel to sell the brands. He planed to invest at least 2 million dollars and open 20 or 30 shops under the title “Maratovskie” in Moscow by 2010.
The Belarusian authorities will scarcely manage to deprive Novikov of his share in Belknditer as it happened to factories. They will need time to create a new company and a new sales channel. Experts forecast that the export of Belarusian confectionery products to Russia may stay paralysed for some time.