Expected for more than six months, the deal to acquire a controlling share of the developer of the line of Russian processors "Baikal" is closed. The details of the transaction are not known, but it is obvious that the share of the arrested owner of "T-platforms" in this organization has been reduced to a minimum, and possibly to zero.
Control over the developer of domestic processors of the Baikal line, the Baikal Electronics company, passed to the Warton group. This deal, which was announced at the end of October 2020, was closed in early June 2021. This information was reported to Kommersant by representatives of the developer and confirmed by its new owners.
The parties refused to disclose the details of the transaction and the new ownership structure, specifying only that the purchase was carried out through an additional issue of shares. A source familiar with the negotiations said that Warton received more than 70% of the shares of Baikal Electronics. According to SPARK-Interfax, during the additional issue, the company's authorized capital increased 45-fold in April 2021, from RUB 7.7 million to RUB 346 million.
Warton is 80% owned by businessman Denis Frolov and 20% by Ilya Sivtsev, the CEO of most of the group's companies. However, the word " group "in relation to" Wharton " can only be used conditionally. As Sivtsev noted at the end of 2020, we are talking about a certain conglomerate of legally unconnected very multidirectional businesses (production of LEDs, software development, etc.).
The most remarkable asset of "Warton" for the IT market of our country can be considered the company "Rusbitech-Astra", which is engaged in the development of the domestic OS Astra Linux.
In addition, in early April 2021, it became known that the co-owners of the "National Computer Corporation" (NCC) Leonid Goldenberg and Yevgeny Lachkov began negotiations with Frolov on the sale of their 64% stake in the organization. The third co-owner of the company, Alexander Kalinin, was officially removed in early June 2021 Goldenberg and Lachkov were removed from the position of president of the NCC, and Frolov was elected head of the corporation. However, a few days later, Kalinin, who had been under house arrest for about a year on suspicion of restricting competition, was released, and his representatives said that he intended to compete for the NCC.
According to the latest public data, 75% of Baikal Electronics was owned by T-Platforms prior to the transaction under consideration. Its founder Vsevolod Opanasenko was arrested in March 2019. He is a defendant in a criminal case related to a contract dated November 30, 2016 for the supply of computers on domestic Baikal-T1 processors for 357.1 million rubles by T-Platforms to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The delivery of a significant part of the "iron" was not carried out on time, which gave the Ministry of Internal Affairs the right to refuse its obligations to accept the delayed equipment and pay for it. Later, the tender was restarted, the "T-platforms" won again, and the delivery was still completed.
The remaining 25% stake in Baikal Electronics was held by T-Nano, which was also controlled by T-Platforms for 37.2%. The remaining 62.8% of T-nano was held by Rusnano through its subsidiary fund for infrastructure and educational programs. In February 2021, the share of T-platforms in T-nano was re-registered to this organization.
At the end of October 2020, the RBC publication, citing its sources, reported that after the conclusion of the deal with Warton, the share of T-nano in Baikal Electronics will remain unchanged, in contrast to the share of T-platforms, whose package "will be reduced as much as possible".
Despite the fact that the deal for Baikal Electronics was closed only now, back in October 2020, according to the company's CEO According to Andrey Evdokimov, it could be concluded that Warton had already begun to take an active part in the development of the company.
At the same time, it was announced that an order for 13 thousand Baikal-M mobile processors was placed at TSMC's Taiwan factory, and a batch of 100 thousand products will be ordered there by the end of 2020, and at least 100 thousand more will be ordered in the first quarter of 2021. According to current information, taking into account the extreme capacity shortage of all semiconductor manufacturers in the world, the company expects to start delivering chips from the first batch of 130 thousand pieces in the third quarter of 2021. The next large-volume shipments are expected in 2022.
Circulations of this scale for Baikal Electronics are a clear breakthrough. The first chips of the Baikal line, Baikal-T, in the five years since their development, only about 50 thousand pieces were produced, and for the new Baikal-M, the company had only engineering samples from a small batch of about 2 thousand pieces.
Moreover, orders of hundreds of thousands of chips can be considered a completely new phenomenon for modern Russia. The main competitor of "Baikal" - the company MCST, which develops the line "Elbrus" - plans for the release of its products, as found out by CNews, at times more modest.
It should also be noted that public plans for the development of new simplified Baikal-M/2 and Baikal-M/2+ chips appeared at Baikal Electronics also after entering the Warton arena. Prior to this, the company last released announcements of its new products in January 2016.