MOSCOW, March 10. /Corr. Mary Amirjanyan/. Representatives of the Russian authorities denied reports about the intention of the billionaire Arkady Rotenberg to buy a stake in the national carrier “Aeroflot” and questioned the possibility of privatization of the company in 2016.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called for “not pay attention” to the material of the British newspaper Financial Times, which reported that the Rothenberg intends to purchase 25% shares of “Aeroflot” in the course of privatization.
Sands: reports that Putin has approved the sale of shares of “Aeroflot” Rothenberg is wrong
In particular, the newspaper with reference to unnamed sources wrote that the Russian President Vladimir Putin “is looking favorably” at the Rotenberg attempt to acquire a stake in the company, whose market value is 69 billion rubles.
“We have repeatedly urged you not to pay attention to these materials, which often are published: that the President manages the national welfare Fund that the President makes the sole decisions on what assets to sell, which do not,” said Sands.
“This is not true. You know about those discussions taking place regarding possible privatization processes, you know about the existence of different points of view on this matter, but it is not the sole prerogative of the President”, – said the press Secretary of the head of state.
The intentions of Rothenberg to buy nearly half the shares of “Aeroflot” in the publication Financial Times has denied the representative of a billionaire. How exactly do you plan to make a deal, the newspaper said. Interest Rotenberg to the acquisition of a stake in “Aeroflot” also refuted the transport Minister Maxim Sokolov. According to him, Rothenberg, like other investors, had shown interest in the package “Aeroflot”. While Sokolov believes that the privatization of “Aeroflot” cannot be conducted in 2016. “To meet (with privatization) in the options 2016 is very problematic”, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Why would investors under the sanctions, “there is clear”
According to the President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs (RSPP) Alexander Shokhin, the interest Rotenberg can only do harm “Aeroflot”. “I would not hurry to get into this asset, because he (Rotenberg) under the sanctions. Then we and the asset itself is put in a difficult position, there may be difficulties”, – said Shokhin.
He considers that “Aeroflot” by definition transnational company, which enters the markets of many countries. “Why would any investor under the sanctions, there is unclear,” – said Shokhin.
The European Union imposed sanctions against Rotenberg at the end of July 2014 in connection with the situation in Ukraine. In September 2014, the Italian authorities seized the property of a billionaire to the tune of €30 million.
According to 14 January 2016, a controlling stake of “Aeroflot” (51,17%) belongs to the state represented by the Federal property management Agency. Even 34,57% of the company’s shares are stored in the National settlement Depository. This is a nominal shareholder, the actual owners of those shares were not disclosed. Daughter of “Aeroflot” – “Aeroflot-Finance” – quasicanonical owns a package of shares in the amount of 4.47 percent. State Corporation “rosteh” controls to about 3.26% of the shares.
As follows from the list of affiliated persons, the General Director of “Aeroflot” Vitaly Saveliev is the holder equal to 0,121% stake in the company. Also small stakes there and the members of the management Board Vasily Avilov, Vladimir Antonov, Kirill Bogdanov, Igor parahina, Igor Kalika.
No privatization is not necessary to declare
By results of trades the Moscow exchange on March 9, the market value of 25% shares of “Aeroflot” amounted to $ 17,34 billion rubles Plans to privatize Aeroflot, the government-in one form or another have existed since the beginning of 2000-ies. In 1994 Aeroflot was partially privatized, then the government’s share was 51%.
In 2004 Aeroflot was included in the privatization plan, but later it was decided to exclude the company from this list. In 2009, in an interview with “Vedomosti” Savelyev said that a final decision on privatization of “Aeroflot” will remain with the government, but, in his opinion, “no privatization to declare not worth it, especially in a crisis.”
The most serious plans for the sale of government’s stake in the airline looked in 2013-2014. In 2013, the head of the state Corporation “rostec” Sergey Chemezov reported that rostec would like to buy a blocking stake of “Aeroflot” to increase the number of domestic aircraft carrier in the Park. Then Chemezov said that the Russian government reacted positively to his proposal.
However, said the head of Rostec, the privatization scheme at that time was not approved. In the same 2013 head of Rosimuschestvo Olga Dergunova stated that her Department supports the idea of turning “Aeroflot” as a public company. The Federal property management Agency in 2013 also included “Aeroflot” in the privatization plan for 2016. Then Savelyev said that up to 2016 to privatize Aeroflot is inappropriate.
It was planned that the first state-owned stake will be reduced to 50%, that is will be sold the share of “Rosteh” and “Aeroflot-Finance”. In mid-2014, the airline on the website of state procurement has announced a tender for the services of an investment Bank, which would be able to organize the placement of shares in the amount of from 7% to 10% of the share capital.
The main air hub for the airline Aeroflot is Sheremetyevo international airport, which is undergoing consolidation. According to a February government decree, the state’s share at the airport will be 31,56%, the rest – the companies “Sheremetyevo holding”. Last full control of Cyprus registered TPS Avia Holding, which belongs to the structures Rotenberg, Alexander Ponomarenko and Alexander Skorobogatko.
According to sources of the Financial Times, the acquisition of a stake in “Aeroflot” would be a logical step for Rothenberg, from the point of view of increasing its impact on the air transportation market.