Russian pharmaceutical barons Viktor Kharitonin and Yegor Kulkov have taken a majority stake in a major domestic manufacturer of well completion and reconditioning equipment, TSS Group, according to reports in Moscow.
Moscow business daily RBK said the two businessmen – whose combined net worth is estimated at $ 3.8 billion – have stepped up through their holding company and investment vehicle, Augment Investments.
With reported revenues of $ 127 million in 2020, TSS serves major oil producers, such as Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Russneft and others in the oil and gas provinces of West Siberia and East Siberia.
Kharitonin and Kulkov’s fortunes are linked to the growth of Farmstandart – a private company founded in 2003 that has grown rapidly through the acquisition of other successful, but smaller Russian pharmaceutical companies.
Among those acquisitions was a maker of Arbidol, a drug that became one of the nation’s top sellers in the early 2000s as a miracle cure for flu and colds following an aggressive marketing campaign.
Despite his popularity among humble Russians, Arbidol failed to achieve international recognition. Farmstandart sold its rights to Aribol to one of its subsidiaries in 2013.
Hopefully the company in the petroleum services industry will ultimately offer more substance than the Arbidol program.