Gavril Yushvaev (Габриэль Юшваевis) a somewhat of an exotic character on the list of Russian oligarchs. With a fortune in excess of $1.4 billion, Yushvaev is a larger-than-life example of a self-made man with cash to splash.
Born in 1957 in Makhachkala, Yushvaev moved to Moscow as a child. He served time in a Soviet labor camp during the 1980s, and on his release immediately went into business with David Yakobashvili. The pair set up some of the first casinos in Moscow, car dealerships across the city, and the capital’s elite nightclub ‘Metelitsa’. Yushvaev made his first millions during the heady days of Glasnost, and despite a slightly rocky start has made a solid fortune that guarantees him a spot on the Forbes Billionaire’s List.
Dairy Company Nets First Billion
In the late 1990s Yushvaev invested heavily in the dairy and fresh juice business founded by David Yakobashvili: Wimm-Bill-Dann. The company is headquartered in Moscow and produces milk, flavored milk, yogurt, fruit juices, and soft drinks. In 2002, Wimm-Bill-Dann went public on the Moscow Exchange, trading as MCX: WBDF. The company is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2010, Yushvaev sold his 19.6% stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann for $1.1 billion to PepsiCo, which bought 66% of the company in total.
Gold and Real Estate – Current Investments
Yushvaev partnered with fellow billionaire Zelimkhan Mutsoev to purchase a 38% share of Polyus Gold International, for the sum of $3.6 billion. Receza Ltd., Yushvaev’s company, purchased 19.28% of Polyus Gold, while Mutsoev’s Lizarazu Ltd. took up 18.5% of the shares. Purchased from Mikhail Prokhorov, Polyus Gold is reported to be worth over $8.5 billion, and is one of the world’s top ten gold producers. Though Yushvaev still owns his stake in Polyus, he is rumored to be considering an offer from Said Kerimov, son of billionaire Suleyman Kerimov. Said Kerimov controls nearly 40% of the shares along with the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation.
Gavril Yushvaev is never content to stand still and count his fortune though: he continually looks for new investments and opportunities to increase his net worth. He is on the board of a number of businesses that he has consolidated into real estate and agricultural holding companies. He is President of RusAgroProject, Eisk Port Elevator, and Agrocomplex Gorki-2, as well as several large cattle farms.
Yushvaev has a number of Moscow real estate developments in his portfolio of investments, the most recent being a massive multipurpose development that includes an 85 story office block, hotel, shopping center and parking space for nearly 4000 cars. In total, the development will occupy 4.3 million square feet of prime real estate. His partner in the development is none other than Vladislav Doronin, an ex-suitor of British supermodel Naomi Campbell.