In July, the owner of Ostashkov Tannery, Interkozha company, Leonid Parfenov, signed an agreement with the Victor Smorgon Group, a leading Australian industrial group, whereby Ostashkov Tannery becomes a partnership between the Russian entrepreneur and the Australian group. The tannery was established in 1730 and is one of the largest, fully-integrated tanneries in Europe. Ostashkov were bought by Parfenov three years ago and process around 30% of all chrome leather in Russia. They are 354km from Moscow, on the banks of Seliger Lake, employ 1,000 people and were awarded Best Russian Exporter of 2002.