#39 Richest: Vitaliy Antonov, 48

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Dec. 17, 2010 01:35
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$310 million
Married with two daughters and one son
Interests: gasoline sales
When the crisis hit Ukraine in 2008-2009 businessmen reacted differently.

Some completely froze their activities, cutting down their budgets and staff.

Others complained loudly, demanding that the government rescue them, which often made things even worse, as it increased panic.

Vitaliy Antonov, whose company Galnaftogaz runs around 300 gas stations all over Ukraine under the brand OKKO, reacted differently.

At the height of the crisis in 2009 Antonov announced he was selling around 20 percent of his company to the EBRD for nearly $50 million.

When asked why would he sell a company when prices were far from their peak levels, Antonov replied, “We have bought many land plots and want to keep our network [of gas stations] growing.”

The strategy seems to have worked. In the first half of this year, the company increased its revenue by more than 70 percent.

Antonov has good reason to feel just as optimistic about his bakery business, Khlibprom, controlling around 8 percent of Ukraine’s market and increasing its revenue by over 30 percent.

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