Op de Krim zullen wijnbedrijven die meer dan 100.000 flessen per jaar leveren worden geprivatiseerd. In de praktijk kom dat neer op verkoop, zoals dat ook al is gebeurd met het grootste wijnhuis in die regio, Novy Svet, dat voor 30 miljoen dollar overging naar Southern Project, meldt Meininger. Met behulp van private investeerders verwacht het bestuur van de Krim na uitbreiding van de bedrijven meer belastinggeld te kunnen innen. De collega’s rapporteren:
“The government of Crimea is considering a massive privatization program of local wineries, aiming to attract additional funds for the wine sector’s development, according to the press service of the Crimean government.
Wineries located on the Crimean Peninsula with a production capacity of at least 100,000 bottles per year will be the subject of privatization. It’s another step in the development of the local industry, following the recent sale of Novy Svet, the largest winery in Crimea.
"We believe it would be better for the Crimean winemaking industry to sell the majority of the existing wine-producing enterprises to private investors,” said Sergei Aksenov, governor of Crimea, in a recent statement. “Most of the local wine assets are currently controlled by the state; however there is a possibility the situation will change in the coming years.” He also noted that private owners have different incentives than the state.
Aksenov believes the Crimean government will receive a double benefit from such privatizations, the first of which is adding additional funds to the government’s budget. The second is the development of an industry which will emerge as a major tax payer.
Novy Svet, Crimea’s oldest winery, was sold to Southern Project, a local company owned by Russian billionaire Yuri Kovalchuk. The oligarch, according to Russian media reports, is close to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who helped him to purchase the asset.
The price realized for Novy Svet at auction was close to its reserve of 1.5 bn rubles ($30m); the sale was criticized by observers, however, as the real value of the asset could be as much as three times higher.
The auction was conducted without competition from foreign investors, even though representatives of some well-known EU producers had announced their interest in buying Novy Svet, complete with nine vineyards to a total area of 93,538 square metres.
If other wineries are sold in such a way, Crimea’s wine industry could end up being run by owners who have little understanding of the wine trade.