These are some weird shenanigans. Massive financial fraud? But they did make products. Ordering a production run at TSMC isn't exactly cheap and that is assuming you paid for the design in the first place.
Rostec bought a blocking stake in the developer of hardware on Baikal processors
Rostec State Corporation bought the blocking share of the developer of electronics on Baikal processors — the Edelweiss company. It is noteworthy that representatives of the electronic market associate this company with the founder of the supercomputer company "T-platforms" Vsevolod Opanasenko. He started working at Rostec at the end of March 2022. Sources believe that the state corporation plans to take control of the intellectual property of Edelweiss. We are talking about boards for Baikal-T and Baikal-M chips, as well as monoblocks on Baikal-M.
As CNews found out, Rostec State Corporation, through its subsidiaries, acquired a 25.1% share of the Russian electronics developer on Baikal processors, the Edelweiss company. This share, according to the company's statutory documents, is blocking. Accordingly, this will allow Rostec to veto certain decisions of the Edelweiss management. CNews wrote about the origin of these plans of Rostec in August 2021.
This purchase is noteworthy because many representatives of the electronic market do not doubt that the beneficiary of Edelweiss is the founder of the famous supercomputer company T-platforms Vsevolod Opanasenko, but there is no official confirmation of this information at the moment. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, since March 2014, Zinaida Pakhomenkova has been the sole founder of Edelweiss. In the market, none of the participants interviewed by CNews knows her. But according to two editorial sources familiar with Vsevolod Opanasenko's family, that's the name of his mother-in-law.
According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Rostec acquired shares in Edelweiss through NCI on April 5, 2022. It, in turn, belongs to JSC "United Instrument Corporation" (MIC, the management company of the holding "Roselectronics").
At the end of March 2022, Opanasenko, who is under investigation, began working in a high position in one of Rostec's structures. Some CNews sources suggested that we are talking about "Roselectronics".Three of the sources suggested that it could be about the "National Center for Informatization" (NCI), but so far they have not received confirmation of this information. Representatives of Rostec said that Opanasenko does not work at Roselectronics.
Representatives of Rostec answered the editorial board only to the question about Opanasenko's position in the state corporation. They ignored the question of the company's interest or the financial side of the transaction. At the time of publication of the material, representatives of Edelweiss could not comment on the deal to CNews.
As a source in the microelectronic market told CNews, Rostec, represented by a high-ranking executive, plans to take control of the intellectual property and design documentation of Edelweiss.
The company has very interesting developments from the point of view of import substitution on Russian processors from the Baikal line (initially, T-platforms were the founder of Baikal Electronics). In particular, Edelweiss has developed boards for Baikal-T and Baikal-M chips, as well as ready-made monoblocks for Baikal-M.
The fact that Vsevolod Opanasenko is a beneficiary of Edelweiss was reported to CNews directly or indirectly at various times by five sources. In addition, there is a message on the website of Edelweiss that "the company is a supplier and manufacturer of Russian equipment of its own design, the development of domestic companies and the company JSC T-Platforms."
Also indicating the connection between these two companies is that according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities on July 22, 2021, Kirill Alifanov became the CEO of Edelweiss, who has been acting as the CEO of T-Platforms since January 15, 2021. But already on March 25, 2022, Gennady Ivanov, the acting interim CEO of the Supercomputer Modeling Center, which is part of Rostec, took the position of Alifanov at Edelweiss.
The fact that Edelweiss and T-platforms have much closer ties on December 12, 2021, a veteran of T-platforms, Alexander Murashov, "let it slip" on his Facebook page. Leaving Edelweiss, Murashov wrote in a post "today is my last day of work in the T-platforms group of companies." Later, the post was deleted, but its screen was preserved in the CNews publication.
The editorial office does not have official confirmation of Vsevolod Opanasenko's connection with Edelweiss at the moment. "Vsevolod Opanasenko is not a beneficiary of Edelweiss LLC, and the company is beyond his control," Maria Bolotskaya, Marketing Director of Edelweiss, assured the editorial office. Yevgenia Opanasenko (the entrepreneur's wife) also refused to comment on this issue in mid-December 2020.
The connection of Edelweiss with Opanasenko is fundamentally important due to the fact that T-platforms owed the state at least 3.1 billion rubles, which were issued to the company in the form of six subsidies for electronic projects following the results of the thematic competition of the Ministry of Industry and Trade at the end of 2016.
Among such developments are "Lines of servers in the blade form factor for high—performance computing and data centers based on x86 processors and domestic processors of the Baikal family" (a subsidy of 437 million rubles. with a total project cost of 1.3 billion rubles), "Lines of workstations based on x86 processors and domestic processors of the Baikal family" (subsidy of 644 million rubles. with a total project cost of 1.81 billion rubles), etc. All these projects were supposed to be implemented by November 30, 2019, but this did not happen.
Accordingly, the issue of ownership of Edelweiss is closely related to the question of how independent or burdened this business is, as well as whether the company is the technological heir of T-Platforms.
Considering the public data about the company "Edelweiss", it can be noted that with extremely mediocre financial indicators, it conducts projects whose financial capacity should be hundreds of millions, or even billions of rubles. In any case, in the amount of this order, the state estimated similar developments of "T-platforms" when it supported them with subsidies.
At the end of November 2020, Alexander Murashov announced that Edelweiss had created a line of PCs on Baikal. Also, according to him, the company "had experience" in developing blade server and switch lines on domestic chips. Then it was announced about the beginning of the development of a laptop on "Baikal". The names of these works are identical or similar to the state-supported "T-platforms" projects.
At the same time, according to the "Contour.focus", at the end of 2019, the revenue of Edelweiss amounted to 1 million rubles. with a net loss of 4 million rubles. By the end of 2020, the indicators are also by no means billion-dollar: revenue 96.6 million rubles, profit 4.2 million rubles.
Also in December 2021, former top employees filed lawsuits against Edelweiss, believing that they were not properly paid off when they were dismissed. The total amount of claims amounted to about 1.2 million rubles.
In 2020, Alexander Grishchenkov became the executive director of Edelweiss, and then, in October 2020, he officially headed it. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, after leaving the company, on July 8, 2021, he registered his own organization, LLC Elpitech, whose main activity is the production of electronic printed circuit boards.
A representative of Edelweiss then assured CNews that Grishenkov left the company without conflict. But according to two CNews interlocutors familiar with the situation, the entire development team — about 40 people - left Grishchenkov from Edelweiss, and only a few support staff remained in the organization.
In October 2021, Elliptech, which united employees who committed a mass exodus from Edelweiss, released a motherboard on Baikal.
Opanasenko was detained in Moscow at the end of March 2019 and sent into custody in a case related to the problematic supply of computers to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 357.1 million rubles. In March 2020, he was transferred to house arrest, and at the end of January 2022, he was released on his own recognizance.
Opanasenko is accused of violating Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code — fraud committed by an organized group or on a particularly large scale. The maximum penalty under it is imprisonment for up to 10 years.
The trial against him continues, but with significant interruptions. According to the file of the Moscow courts of general jurisdiction, sessions in the Opanasenko case began to be scheduled in the Meshchansky District Court from May 2020. Since then, meetings have been adjourned or postponed "for other reasons" more than 70 times. The intervals between adjourned meetings were usually one to two weeks. However, after the next postponed meeting, which took place on March 15, 2022, the next meeting is scheduled for August 23 (the break exceeds five months).