21 Apr 2010 13:53

Aeroflot to get Rostekhnologii aviation assets after NRB stake is sold - Chemezov

MOSCOW. April 21 (Interfax) - The aviation assets of the Rostekhnologii state corporation will be transferred to Aeroflot Russian Airlines only after the airline purchases the Aeroflot stake held by Alexander Lebedev's National Reserve Corporation, Rostekhnologii chief Sergei Chemezov.

Aeroflot Finance has already purchased 6.3% of shares from NRC subsidiary National Reserve Bank, reducing Lebedev's overall holding in the Russian flag carrier to 19.3% from 25.8%. However, NRC later said it did not believe it worthwhile to further reduce its stake in Aeroflot.

"The [Rostekhnologii] companies can only be transferred into Aeroflot's structure after resolving the issue of the stake held by Alexander Lebedev, who for various reasons is not ready for now to sell his stake to the state," Chemezov said in an interview with Novaya Gazeta.

Chemezov recalled that Rostekhnologii had received exclusive rights to purchase aircraft, parts and servicing for Aeroflot.

Boeing made the best bid in the aircraft tender to replenish Rosavia's fleet that Rostekhnologii announced prior to the government's decision to transfer Rosavia assets to Aeroflot. "For example, we have a contract with Boeing. It offered the best price in the tender we announced. Moreover, it's convenient to work with them, because they are also dependent on us: without our production, titanium and composite materials, they wouldn't be able to manufacture the new Boeing 787," Chemezov said.

Aeroflot and Rostekhnologii have agreed that a director recommended by the Aeroflot will head the state corporations aviation assets. Chemezov added that Rostekhnologii had repaid the debt of the aviation companies "virtually in full."

The Rostekhnologii assets will initially be transferred into Aeroflot's management, according to a decision made at meeting chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. "This applies to the stock companies [51% of shares in Vladivostok Avia and Saratov Airlines and 100% in Sakhalinskye Aviatrassy]. The FGUP [State Unitary Enterprises] must be corporatized first," Chemezov said.