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Rotenberg Eyes Stake in Sheremetyevo Airport

Billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, a close associate of President Vladimir Putin, could become co-owner of the state-owned Sheremetyevo Airport prior to its upcoming privatization, a news report said Thursday.

Sheremetyevo general director Mikhail Vasilenko said TPS Avia would be invited to participate in the consolidation of the airport's assets prior to the sale of the government's stake in the airport, which should be conducted by the end of 2016, Vedomosti reported.

TPS Avia Holding, owned by Rotenberg in partnership with Alexander Ponomarenko and Alexander Skorobogatko, already controls freight operations at Sheremetyevo after its June purchase of a controlling stake in the project to build a new freight terminal at the airport.

At that time, TPS Avia was a key contender to purchase the government's controlling stake, Kommersant reported.

The government currently owns 83 percent of Sheremetyevo, with leading Russian airline Aeroflot owning 9 percent and the state-owned banks VEB and VTB each owning about 4 percent, respectively.

During privatization, most affiliates directly involved in the activities of the airport will be merged with the Sheremetyevo International Airport company, while the airport's stakes in two Vladivostok airport companies will both likely be sold, Vasilenko said.

He added that the assets in Vladivostok might be purchased by the Far East Development Fund, a subsidiary of VEB, which already owns the remaining shares in both companies.

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