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Tycoon Rotenberg to Control Sheremetyevo Cargo Operations

TPS Avia Holding has a stake in the existing freight terminal at Sheremetyevo and 75 percent of the new one. Maxim Stulov

A company controlled by billionaire tycoon Arkady Rotenberg has purchased a controlling stake in the project to build a new air freight terminal at Sheremetyevo Airport, as well as shares in the existing terminal, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The new freight terminal, which will span 21,000 square meters, is 25.1 percent owned by Sheremetyevo International Airport. Sources close to the deal say that TPS Avia Holding, which is controlled by Rotenberg and his business partner Alexander Ponomarenko, has bought out the remaining 74.9 percent stake that belonged to Interport, which is a joint venture between Interros and Kratos group.

Rotenberg and Ponomarenko also purchased a 44 percent of the airport's existing air freight terminal from Interport, as well as the joint venture's 50 percent stake in Airport Moskva, the company that controls cargo and mail processing.

The two businessmen are essentially in de-facto control of cargo operations at the airport, and the report says that they will be the main contenders to purchase the state's 83 percent share in the airport when the decision to privatize it is made.

Rotenberg, who is President Vladimir Putin's longtime judo partner, is also involved in the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg highway through North-West Concession Company, or NWCC.

The company is subsidiary of a joint venture between French engineering firm Vinci and several Russian investors, including Arkady Rotenberg. It won the commission to build toll booths on a 43-kilometer section of the new road in 2009.

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