New Russian Private Equity Firm Launches

Elbrus Capital has been launched as a new Russian private equity firm, following last year’s purchase of Renaissance Private Equity from Renaissance Group. The group still has around $160 million in legacy dry powder to invest. Its principals are: Dmitri Krukov, former managing partner of Renaissance Private Equity, Alexander Savin, former CEO of A1 Group, and Robert Thielen, founder and managing partner of Waterland Private Equity.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Dmitri Krukov, former Managing Partner of Renaissance Private Equity a private equity business of Renaissance Group, Alexander Savin, former CEO of A1 Group, an investment arm of Alfa Group and Robert Thielen, founder and Managing Partner of Waterland Private Equity are launching ELBRUS CAPITAL, a Russia-focused private equity business. ELBRUS CAPITAL will focus on investments in companies looking for opportunities to consolidate their markets and grow market share in the post-crisis environment.

ELBRUS CAPITAL will seek significant influence or controlling stakes in fast growing businesses, and will provide capital to entrepreneurs who have the ambitions to take their business to the next level of development.

Krukov, Savin and Thielen joined forces and bought out Renaissance Private Equity from Renaissance Group at the end of 2009. Renaissance Private Equity managed a fund raised among international institutional investors by Renaissance Group in early 2008. After the spinout the partners successfully restructured the fund which is now making investments again. The team is expanded with several professionals with backgrounds in operations and private equity investments in Russia.

ELBRUS CAPITAL is looking to invest the fund’s remaining capacity of approx $180 mln during 2010. The group will focus on mid-market investments along four themes that the founders identified as most attractive in post-crisis Russia: “changing consumer needs”, “education and healthcare”, “infrastructure and real estate” and “natural resource services”.’

The fund’s existing portfolio consists of pre-crisis investments in DST, a leading Russian internet group (Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki.ru, VKontakte.ru, Facebook), an automotive retailer in Siberia and Media One, a Russian TV and radio business. Media One has recently announced a joint venture with AFMH Media (MuzTV and 7TV networks).

Dmitri Krukov commented: “The Russian entrepreneurs and medium size businesses are starved of long term equity capital. One of the reasons for this capital shortage is lack of established, professional private equity institutions. Our ambition is to address this gap and build a leading Russian private equity business building on the unique Russian and international experience of our team.”

Alexander Savin commented: “We believe that post-crisis Russia and CIS provide a unique investment opportunity. The global financial crisis, which hit Russia more severely than most other markets, has transformed many industries. The successful players have passed some of the most difficult “survival tests”. Now many of them need to complete the restructuring of their balance sheets and grow their businesses while their competitors lie in ruins or struggle”.

Robert Thielen added: “We believe that the team’s ability to combine local expertise with best practice experience and learning from the western markets will enable us to make attractive investments and form long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships with the best entrepreneurs in their respective markets”. Russia has a large number of fragmented high growth markets that could benefit from our buy and build experiences.

Dmitri Krukov – In 1992-1994 Mr. Krukov worked with the consulting company Bain & Company. In 1996-2002 Mr. Krukov worked as Vice President with Morgan Stanley in London, focusing on merger and acquisition and capital markets transactions. In 2002–2007 Mr. Krukov held a position of Managing Director, Renaissance Capital, responsible for investment banking transactions in oil and gas and media sectors. In 2007-2010 Mr. Krukov served as Managing Partner, Renaissance Private Equity.

Alexander Savin – From 1992 till 2001 Mr. Savin worked at Bain & Company in Moscow, Boston and London offices focusing on private equity projects and business strategy development for leading international companies. From 2001 Mr. Savin worked as Director at the Renaissance Capital Group, focusing on direct investments in utility and other sectors. From 2003 till 2009 Mr. Savin served as CEO of A1 Group – an investment arm of Alfa Group.

Robert Thielen – Mr. Thielen is a Founder and Managing Partner of Waterland Private Equity. Waterland Private Equity has over EUR 1.4 billion under management in several funds and has –since its inception in 1999- invested in over 180 companies in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and a number of other European countries. Should you have questions, please, contact Ilya Novokhatsky, DNA Communications, Elbrus Capital public relations representative, tel.: +7 925 5181798, e-mail: ilya@dnapr.ru.