Russia’s Aeroflot Eyes London Listing


Russia's Aeroflot Eyes London Listing

Russia's Aeroflot Eyes London Listing

Russian state-controlled airline Aeroflot is planning a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange followed by a placement of around 13 percent of its stock in 2012-2013, two sources familiar with an internal presentation said.

The company, in which Britain’s Independent newspaper owner Alexander Lebedev has a 15 percent stake, is on the list of companies the Russian government is keen to part-privatise and has had a share placement on its agenda for some time.

The government and Lebedev could both sell shares in the placement, Russian daily Vedomosti reported earlier on Wednesday, citing the same presentation from Finance Director Shamil Kurmashov. The board of directors will discuss the proposal at a meeting on Thursday, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the plans, but confirmed a board meeting will take place.

At current share prices, the sale of a 13 percent stake could be worth around USD$200 million.

Several Russian private and state-controlled companies have secondary shares listed in London in order to take advantage of foreign investment and to raise their profile.

A listing by Aeroflot – just over 50 percent owned by the state – would relegate the government to minority shareholder status and increase the group’s free float.

Aeroflot last month reported a near-30 percent increase in passenger numbers over the first four months of this year, while 2011 net profit nearly doubled to USD$491 million.


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