18 Nov 2010 15:52

Prokhorov-controlled bank leads purchase of Capital Tour for $15 mln

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - IFC Bank, which was founded by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is acquiring a controlling stake in Capital Tour together with a pool of investors, the bank said in a press release.

They agreed to invest up to $15 million in the financially troubled travel agency.

"The money will be used to stabilize its financial situation, replenish working capital and carry out an internal restructuring in order to maximize the current profitability of the business," the statement says.

The bank and the pool of investors will acquire ownership of a controlling stake in the company via a supplementary share issue, the press release says.

IFC is ready to invest the necessary funds into the tour company's capital on several conditions.

For instance, a detailed business plan for the company should be worked through in a period of 10 days. The plan should focus on the short and medium term perspectives in order to determine the exact amount of funds needed for company operations.

Furthermore, agreements should be reached with Capital Tour's bank creditors on the full and integrated restructuring of the company's financial debts. Capital Tour's financial indicators should not undergo any radical changes during negotiations with bank creditors.

Another condition for the investment would be IFC Bank receiving all the necessary state authorization for the transaction along with corporate approval in the first ten days of December.

If work is productive, all interested parties could receive the first tranche of financing in the first week or so of December.

The press release quoted Capital Tour's general director and owner, Inna Beltyukovaya, as saying: "We are sure that an agreement with such a strong financial partner will help us quell the negative information surrounding the company and allow us in full measure to carry out our obligations to clients."

It was earlier reported that Capital Tour, which is one of Russia's leading tour operators (sending around 3,000 tourists a week to 40 various locations such as Southeast Asia and Latin America) had been blocked by its bank-creditor owing to a large amount of debt. The company temporarily suspended tour operations.