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Monday, December 2, 2013

Ownership (Updated)

A train belonging to Barys Astana's main sponsor makes its way across the landscape.  (Photo via Railpage)
Here then, below the jump, is the official Road to Khabarovsk guide to KHL ownership!  I warn you that the world of international finance is not one with which I am well-versed at all, and I humbly ask that any horrible errors people might find be pointed out in the comments.

Click on, to learn who owns your favourite KHL team (or at least, to learn who I think owns your favourite KHL team)!

The sources for this, by the way, were the Russian and English Wikipediae, and the websites of the clubs themselves, some of which were more forthcoming than others (mad props, to give one example, to Dinamo Riga in this regard).  There was also quite a lot of Googling, when those sources proved incomplete or insufficient.

In addition to whatever information I could ferret out about the teams' ownership situations, I have included a very quick summary of whether they will be affected by this law making its way through the Russian parliament.

Update: Many effusive thanks to Domenica aus den Weiden, who spotted some things that I had missed about Slovan and Vityaz, and has provided some very important information about those teams!  The entries for both have been updated to reflect this new info.

Update 2: Many thanks to Argos for help with the Medveščak ownership situation!  The entry has been updated.

Admiral Vladivostok: Privately owned by Ziyavudin Magomedov, through his investment company Summa Group.  Not affected.

Ak Bars Kazan:  Major owners are Tatneft, a publicly-traded oil and gas company whose largest shareholder is the Republic of Tatarstan.  Probably unaffected.

Amur Khabarovsk: A bit confusing at the moment.  They seem to have been funded by construction company Dalspetsstroy, a subsidiary of Spetsstroy Russia, which is owned by the federal government through the ministry of defense.  However, Dalspetsstroy recently said they would no longer fund the team, so at the moment things are unclear.  The Chairman of Amur's Board of Trustees is the Governor of Khabarovsk Krai.  Probably unaffected with Dalspetsstroy out of the picture, although Amur have other problems.

Atlant Moscow Oblast: Previously owned by the Government of Moscow Oblast, but now run by businessman Anton Zingarevich, who also owns Reading FC in England.  Not affected.

Avangard Omsk Oblast:  At least partially owned by Gazprom Neft, a subsidiary of Gazprom, whose majority owner is the Government of Russia.  However, the Government of Omsk Oblast, and privately-owned company Mostovik are also partners in the club.  Affected by the proposed law, but how much remains to be seen.

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg: Main sponsor and source of funding since 2012 is the Agropromkredit bank, an open joint stock company.  Should be unaffected by the law.

Barys Astana:  Main sponsor is Qazaqstan Temir Zholy, the Kazakh state railway company.  Probably unaffected, as the proposed law is Russian, but there may be complications, as this is a state-owned compnay.

CSKA Moscow:  Rescued from possible bankruptcy during the 2011-12 season by Rosneft, another huge federally state-owned oil company.  Definitely affected by the proposed law, which may have serious consequenses for the team.

Dinamo Minsk: According to the team's website, Dinamo have two shareholders: The Dinamo Sports Club of Belarus, which as in Soviet days is the sports club of the State Security Council, and the Gorodeya Sugar Refinery, a joint stock company.  Like Barys, they are probably ok as they are not Russian, but the sports club's government connections may be a problem.

Dinamo Riga: 61% owned by Itera International Energy Latvija, part of the Itera International Group of Companies, whose majority shareholder is Russian businessman Igor Makarov.  The remaining 39% is owned by Latvian interests and individuals.  Should have no problems under the proposed law.

Donbass Donetsk: Privately owned by Ukrainian politician and businessman Borys Kolesnikov, and receives significant sponsorship from his Agro-industrial company APK-Invest.  Unaffected by the proposed law, for a number of reasons.

Dynamo Moscow:  A little unclear, but the club's Chairman of the Board of Directors is Arkady Rothenberg, the massively rich owner of the SGM Group of construction companies.  Dynamo do have close contacts, however, with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.  It is unclear (to me, at least) what the proposed law means for Dynamo.

Lev Prague:  Owned by Sportovní Holding Praha, a company itself jointly owned by the Czech-controlled British company Hanbury Finance Ltd. and the Swiss firm A-Energy Holding SA.  Unaffected.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl:  True to the name, Lokomotiv's owner and primary funding body is JSC Russian Railways, whose sole shareholder is the Russian government.  The proposed law will affect them greatly, but Lokomotiv have other, private, sponsors as well, so the exact impact remains unknown.

Medveščak Zagreb:  Medveščak have a large number of corporate partners, but do not receive government money.  The ownership situation is unclear, but they will not be affected by the proposed law.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk:  Owned by Viktor Rashnikov, who himself owns 87% of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works.  Unaffected.

Metallurg Novokuznetsk:  Owned, or at least mostly sponsored, by Evraz, a London-based, Russian-controlled,  public limited company which specializes in steel and mining.  Probably unaffected.

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk: Owned by NizhnekamskNeftekhim, a publicly traded petrochemical company that makes plastics and synthetic rubber (the team's logo is a variation of the company logo).  NizhnekamskNeftekhim has as its majority shareholder another public company, the TAIF (Tatar-American Investments & Finance) Group.  Unaffected.

Salavat Yulaev Ufa: Receive most of their budget from the Ural Charitable Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization that funds cultural, health, and community activities in Bashkortostan, and whose chairman is the former President of the Republic.  Almost certainly unaffected - I do not believe that the Ural Charitable Foundation receives significant support from any of the companies covered by the proposed law.

Severstal Cherepovets:  A true company team - owned by Severstal, a publicly-traded steel and mining company that shares its logo with the hockey team.  Severstal's main shareholder is Alexei Mordashov.  Unaffected.

Sibir Novosibirsk Oblast:  Jointly owned by the Government of Novosibirsk Oblast and Siberian Anthracite.  The latter is majority-owned by the Alltech Group, a private investment firm.  Unaffected.

SKA St. Petersburg: Owned by Gazprom Export, a subsidiary of Gazprom, whose majority shareholder (50.0002%) is the Government of Russia.  Very definitely affected by the proposed law.

Slovan Bratislava: A joint stock company itself, among whose major shareholders right now is Tipos, the wholly state-owned Slovakian bookmaker. Their "Exclusive Partner" is the City of Bratislava.  Probably unaffected, although the money from TIPOS would be at risk if the team were based in Russia.

Spartak Moscow: General Sponsor is InvestBank, a joint stock commercial bank whose shareholders are many and varied, but do not seem to include any companies that would be barred by the proposed law.  Probably unaffected.

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod:  General Sponsor is the Gaz Group, an automaker whose majority shareholder is Russian Machines.  Russian Machines, in turn, is owned by Basic Element, an investment company owned by Oleg Deripaska.  It is a bit of a chain to follow, but in the end, Torpedo are unaffected by the proposed law.

Traktor Chelyabinsk:  Seem to be owned by the Government of Chelyabinsk Oblast, with a number of other corporate partners, most of which are local or regional, and none of whom seem to covered by the proposed law.  Probably unaffected.

Vityaz Moscow Oblast:  Owned by Mikhail Golovkov, a long-serving figure in Russian hockey who bought the team in early 2012.  Golovkov's son Igor is currently a defenseman for the team.  Probably unaffected.

Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk: Run as a non-profit partnership by the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Khanty-Mansiysk Bank.  Unaffected.

Full analysis of what this all means can wait for another day, but very quickly, SKA, CSKA, Avangard, Lokomotiv, and maybe Dynamo Moscow have things to think about with regards to this new bit of legislation.  Most of the others should be just fine, although some may lose a minor sponsor or two.  What the law would mean for the non-Russian teams remains unclear.


  1. Ah, that's why I always thought Severstal has a weird logo - it basically is a corporate logo.

    I checked Slovan's website and it's listed as a "joint stock company". Does this mean they are owned by people? I have no idea.

    Thanks for doing this. Must have taken ages to find information on some of them.

    1. As I understand it (and I may not... :) ), a joint stock company is owned by shareholders - people, companies, or governments. Thank you very much for the note about Slovan! Where did you see it on their website (I totally missed it)?

      Some of the teams were very easy to figure out, but others... I still have no idea who owns HC Vityaz! :D

    2. Forgot to add the link: it's on their "history page".

      The president and owner of Vityaz is Mihail Golovkov. (source: and the Vityaz website - again buried in the "history/about the club page")

    3. Wonderful - thank you so much! I will update the post here right away!

  2. Where from you got information that Medveščak is sponsored by Croatian government and City of Zagreb? I ask because it's not true

    1. The tourist boards of both Zagreb and Croatia are listed on the team's "Partners" page, along with many others - I think that's where I got that info from. However, I did have some difficulties with Medveščak. Is the team actually privately owned by Gojanović?

    2. Maybe they are partners because of entry on Russian tourist market but the true is Medveščak gets zero government money. I don't really know about ownershio but it's certainly not rivately owned by Damir Gojanović, he is only president and former player. I believe that club is part of sport society Medveščak which also runs waterpolo and some other sections with the same name. One thing is sure - Medveščak can't be affected with this law. Anyway, keep up the good work.

    3. Thank you, and apologies for the late reply! I will update the Medveščak entry.