27 Apr 2022 17:32

Siluanov confirms plans to recapitalize Aeroflot using funds from NWF

ST. PETERSBURG. April 27 (Interfax) - Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has confirmed the government's plans to recapitalize Aeroflot by using monies from the National Wealth Fund (NWF).

"Recapitalization of Aeroflot will come from the NWF. We will help Russian Railways, the Russian government housing and urban development corporation (DOM.RF), and Gazprombank this year, and the decision has already been taken," Siluanov told reporters on Wednesday, without specifying the amount of funds to be allocated in order to support Aeroflot.

An Interfax source had previously said that the Russian government could allocate around 107 billion rubles from the NWF for these purposes. A measure was under consideration for supporting the Aeroflot group amid sanctions, the source explained. Additional shares were planned to be placed via public offering, though the government's current 57.34% stake in Aeroflot must not be diluted because of the additional issue.

Aeroflot's board of directors intends to discuss the price of the additional share issue as well as an increase in the charter capital at a meeting on April 29, the company said the previous day. The board will also discuss convening an extraordinary shareholders' meeting.

Aeroflot's shares were 30.18 rubles per share at the close of trading on the Moscow Exchange on Tuesday.

Aeroflot's previous so-called anti-crisis SPO was held in the autumn of 2020, with shares placed at 60 rubles per share, and 80 billion rubles overall attracted. The Russian government at the time used funds from the NWF in order to buy 50 billion rubles worth of shares. The goal of the SPO, according to Aeroflot, was to stabilize the company's activities amid the transportation crisis owing to Covid-19.

Aeroflot is Russia's largest aviation group that includes the flagship airline of the same name, as well as Pobeda and Rossiya airlines, respectively. The government controls 57.3% of the shares, 1.96% are quasi-treasury shares, company management owns 0.0002%, and 40.7% are in free float on the Moscow Exchange.