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Billionaires to Bid on Airport

Billionaire Oleg Deripaska's Basel Aero, Viktor Vekselberg's Renova Group and businessman Roman Trotsenko's Novaport may compete to acquire an airport in Vladivostok, a port city on the Pacific coast.

The terminal, which state-controlled Sheremetyevo International Airport and state development bank VEB are building at a cost of 5.9 billion rubles ($190 million), will have a capacity to handle 3 million passengers a year, Transportation Minister Igor Levitin told reporters Monday in Moscow.

The airport will be sold after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the region next year, said Levitin, who is also Sheremetyevo's board chairman.

Renova, Basel Aero and Novaport are seeking to expand their airport holdings as Russian air travel reaches a post-Soviet record of 60 million passengers next year, Levitin said.

Renova agreed to acquire 71 percent of a company that controls the Kurumoch International Airport in the southern city of Samara, winning a tender after agreeing to invest 12.3 billion rubles to upgrade the facility, billionaire Vekselberg's holding company said Monday in an e-mailed statement. After completing the investment program, Renova will have the option to acquire 25 percent more.

In February, Renova agreed to acquire control of an airport in Nizhny Novgorod and renovate the facility as the country prepares regional cities for the 2018 football World Cup.

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