Arkady Rotenberg Builds Huge Air Freight Terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia

Arkady Rotenberg proves time and time again that if you know the right people the sky is indeed the limit.

Yung Arkady Rotenberg  Vadimir Putin

Arkady Rotenberg, a boyhood friend and former judo partner of black-belt President Vladimir Putin

/By Albert Hecht/

Rotenberg, one of Russia’s most influential businessman, is seeing his company enjoy a rich spell of expansion, and in a number of fields. Many political and economic commentators point to the fact that his remarkable success is not only due to his business acumen but also the fact they as a close friend close friend, going back to their childhood days in Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The news that a company owned by Arkady Rotenberg in partnership with his brother Boris has been awarded a contract to construct and manage a huge air freight terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport will not surprise too many people. And even the fact that they have been granted controlling interest in the management of the airport’  existing terminal. Once again the question arises of whether Rotenberg always happens to have the knack of being be in the right place at the right time, or are a few doors at the Kremlin being opened for him.

Whatever the reason, with the deal now signed, 75% of the proposed 21, 000 square meters freight terminal will be owned by TPS Avia Holding, controlled by Rotenberg and one of his business partners Alexander Ponomarenko. The company will also be buying out the previous owners and operators,  Interport, with the remaining 25% remaining in the hands of the Sheremetyevo International Airport.

As part of the agreement Rotenberg and Ponomarenko also become owners of 44 percent of the Sheremetyevo airport’s existing air freight terminal. In addition, TPS Avia Holding will also be requiring a 50% stake in  Airport Moskva, the logistics company that controls cargo and mail processing for the airport and in turn most of Soviet Russia.

The partnership’s intricate takeover deal now leaves them in almost total control of all cargo operations at the airport, making them, according to industry sources, the almost unchallenged contenders take over the entire airport when the eagerly awaited decision to privatize will be made, of course by none other than Vladimir Putin

Rotenberg, whose childhood friendship with President Putin has continued for decades, and is so hands-on that the pair were judo partners for many may or may not have played a major part in Rotenberg’s dramatic expansion into all aspects of Russian business. Apart from his massive deal with Sheremetyevo International Airport Rotenberg, through one of his many associate companies, North-West Concession Company, (NECK), is also one of the principal contractors in the massive Moscow-St. Petersburg highway project.

With the pair being such sport lovers, it’s little wonder that Arkady Rotenberg has also been given the green light to pull off one of the most audacious moves in Russian sport in the last few years. Rotenberg, in partnership with his brother Boris and Russian mega-billionaire Gennady Timchenko have acquired are controlling interest in Finland’s  Jokerit ice hockey team, and instead of moving them to play in Moscow , to take part in the KHL. Russia’s equivalent of the NHL, the partners in this particular venture also bought up the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki which is Jokerit’s home stadium with a seating capacity of around 13, 500, making it Finland’s largest event venue.

And conflicts of interest do not seem to bother these gentlemen with Timchenko, already president of the hockey club , SKA, St. Petersburg and Arkady Rotenberg, current chairman of reigning KHL champion Dynamo Moscow.

Both Gennady Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg as well as his son Roman hold Finnish citizenship, although Arkady Rotenberg is not known to hold any form of foreign citizenship.

The KHL was set up in 2008 under the sponsorship of President Vladimir Putin with teams not only from Russia participating but also Belarus, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine.

With Arkady Rotenberg’s business empire expanding in so many different directions, his core business, Stroygazmontazh Corporation (SGM Group), who specialize in supplying steel pipe as well as pipeline construction for the massive state-owned Gazprom concern has been causing some concerns of late.

A few eyebrows were eventually raised when SGM recently announced that they had acquired Gazprom-Bureniye, among the largest drilling companies in Russia. In the last few years, Gazprom has been under increasing scrutiny as a dramatic fall in demand for natural gas, both domestically and internationally, has knocked a major dent in their profits.

Apart from all of their construction, industrial and sporting interests, the Rotenberg brothers also hold a controlling interest in Russia’s SMP Bank.

Arkady Rotenberg was born and raised in the city of Leningrad, going on to study to become a bachelor of arts and science at the Leningrad Institute of Physical Culture before going on to build a successful career in the world of commerce and industry.

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