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Lebedev Mulls Sale of Aeroflot Stake

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev has been in talks with investors about selling his 4.5 percent stake in flagship carrier Aeroflot, the tycoon was quoted as saying on Thursday by Vedomosti.

Lebedev, an outspoken entrepreneur with media assets in Russia and Britain, said last year that he may sell his Russian assets after coming under Kremlin pressure and being charged over his part in a fracas on a TV talk show.

The 53-year-old backer of British newspapers The Independent and The Evening Standard has been reducing his holding in Aeroflot, decreasing his stake to 12.5 percent as of late last year from more than 25 percent earlier, the paper said.

Lebedev now owns 4.5 percent of Aeroflot, worth 2.5 billion rubles ($78 million). A spokesman for Lebedev was not available for comment.

Lebedev is on trial over an incident last year in which he threw a punch at property developer Sergei Polonsky during a TV talk show. He faces up to five years in jail if convicted on a charge of hooliganism and battery.

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