Published On: Sun, Oct 27th, 2013

Arkady Rotenberg Moves Into Outer space- Pays $28 Million for Skanex

Rotenberg has invested $28 million to acquire a majority share in Skanex, one of the leading players in Russia’s space tech industry.

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Arkady Rotenberg / Getty

Arkady Rotenberg has taken his widespread business activities spread out throughout Russia and onwards and upwards and even as far as deep into outer space.

Rotenberg has become the majority shareholder in Skanex, who specialize in providing observation facilities from outer space of all of Russia’s territory as well as that of other CIS member countries. The CIS was formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Now Arkady Rotenberg will be able to look down on these countries from above, in real time and at a very high resolution.

Business analysts in Russia seem to be of the shared opinion that the reason why Rotenberg acquired control of Skanex is that his group of companies are interested in participating in the state initiative to establish an accurate real-estate cadaster map, and have allocated around $1.7 billion to complete the project to define national and local borders in the country.

A cadastral map is a comprehensive register of the real estate or real property’s boundaries in a country and the ability to produce such a map from outer space using satellite technology has become increasingly common practice around the world.

Most countries make use of satellite imagery to define the exact dimensions and location of land parcels, as they are denoted in legal documents, and are largely used to settle legal disputes and lawsuits regarding property boundaries.

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With an eye to the future, and gaining a share of that potentially lucrative business, Rotenberg has acquired 90 percent of the shares , in Skanex, for $28 million. The remaining 10 percent of the company being retained by the founders of the company, Vladimir and Olga Gershenson.

Skanex has the distinction of being one of lost running high-tech businesses in Russia, having been established in 1989, when the country was still a member of the Soviet Union.

Providing a comprehensive range of high-tech services, not only including interception of images of the Earth from outer space but also their thematic processing, Skanex are also the owners and operators of a network of ground stations throughout Russia and a number of CIS member countries that assimilate data from a network of satellites, that allow the transmission of a large number of television channels to the Russian consumer. Skunks are also working in close cooperation with Russia’s largest Internet search engine, Yandex, to provide them with high resolution  maps and images  of the Earth’s surface.

While these operations will undoubtedly add some welcome strings to Arkady Rotenberg’s bow, there is little doubt that the principal subject of his interest will be getting a share, if not all, of the $1.7 billion Russian Federation project, to be completed by the end of 2016, in which the country, with a land mass of 6.5 million square miles, will move to a single open geocentric coordinate system, designed to increase the accuracy of the state real-estate cadaster.

 

Arkady Rotenberg born and raised in the city of Leningrad and a graduate of the Leningrad Institute of Physical Culture has gone on to build a successful career in the world of commerce and industry, becoming among the most influential businessmen in Russia, with major shareholdings in some of the largest companies in the country, including the SGM Group, now one of the largest suppliers of steel pipe in the former Soviet Bloc. In addition Rotenberg holds a major interest in Mostotrest, a major Russian based road Construction Corporation and a controlling interest in the SMP Bank, the TPS Avia Group, as well as being president of the Dynamo Moscow hockey club.

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