"Business is not a job and not a hobby, it is rather a way of life which allows to demonstrate its aims, means, and results in the most concentrated and objective form."
.........................................................................................Alexander Fayn, General Director of A1
Alfa-Eco (A1's predecessor), was founded in 1989 as the first main company in the Alfa Group Consortium.
During its more than 20-year-old history, А1 has implemented numerous of projects, many of which have been included in Alfa Group as independent structures and are currently the key ones for the Russian economy.
Among them there are Alfa-Bank which is the largest private bank in the Russian Federation; TNK-BP, one of the leaders of the Russian oil industry; telecommunications operators VimpelCom (Beeline trademark) and MegaFon; the national retailer X5 (the retail chains Perekryostok, Pyatyorochka, Kopeika), GK Rosvodokanal and many others.
During various periods of its activity, А1 has been a major shareholder in leading enterprises in various industries of the domestic economy, such as the federal cellular operator MegaFon, West-Siberian Metallurgical Complex, Achinsk Alumina Industrial Complex, Korshunovsky GOK, Tagmet Metallurgical Complex, Krasny Oktyabr Metallurgical Works, Balakhninsky and Kamsky Pulp and Paper Plants, Petrosakh Oil and Gas Company, and Trading House of the Descendants of P.A. Smirnov.
In 2004-2005, the Company underwent a re-branding and changed its name, having turned from Alfa-Eco into А1. From this point on, the emphasis in the company's activity shifted to the sphere of the strategic and portfolio investment in stable competitive businesses in the territory of Russia and Ukraine. In particular, as part of this strategy some high-yield projects were successfully implemented in the brewing industry – SUN Interbrew (f transnational concern), Vladpivo (Primorsky Krai), Patra (Yekaterinburg), Syabar (Belarus) – within the framework of this strategy, in cooperation with some of the world's largest brewing companies – Heineken, SABMiller, and InBev.
In 2009, А1 launched the Alfa Distressed Assets project (ADA), the purpose of which was the management and sale of non-core assets obtained as a result of the restructuring of distressed loans during the 2008-2009 crisis. Currently the project is at the final stage.
At present, А1 is performing a number of significant projects:
- BelMarket is the first national chain of grocery supermarkets in the Republic of Belarus.
- Formula kino is the Russian federal cinema chain, and is a leader in the largest cities of Russia – Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- Independence Group, which is one of the top five auto dealers, a multi-brand network with the largest volumes of sales, and repair and maintenance services for Volkswagen, Audi, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda, Ford, and Peugeot.
- A Joint Venture of A1 and IBRC (The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) was created in 2012 to return Ireland real estate properties located in Russia and Ukraine and used as collateral for earlier loans.