By John Bonar
Yelena Baturina, wife of Moscow's former mayor, Yuriy Luzhkov has sold Inteko, one of the country’s biggest development and investment companies, together with its associate company Patriot and other holdings, to a Moscow banker and a Sberbank subsidiary company, preparing her exit from Moscow business, according to analysts.
By Sayan Guha
The British government’s reservation against Russian energy companies’ entering the strategic UK energy market is finally wearing thin. Gazprom OAO, the Russian state energy behemoth, has got the go-ahead from the British government over German utility firm RWE’s UK assets acquisition, reported the Sunday Times newspaper. German news magazine Spiegel had reported recently of a possible stake sale by RWE after a meeting held two weeks ago between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and RWE head Dr. Jürgen Grossmann in Paris. Grossmann is reported to have told confidants that RWE may make an announcement in early August regarding the possible stake sale.
By Sayan Guha
The largest Russian international airport, Sheremetyevo Moscow, may list its shares in domestic and international stock exchanges, after the proposed merger between Sheremetyevo and JSC Terminal, the operator of the newest terminal D at Sheremetyevo, is complete, said the transport ministry last Tuesday.
Sheremetyevo airport is currently on the list of strategic assets which must be owned by the Russian state. The government’s plan to restructure Sheremetyevo via the acquisition of JSC Terminal will require legislature amendments, since the state ownership is expected to come down to 83 percent after the merger. However, the government will retain the controlling stake by continuing to hold fifty percent and 1 share, following the proposed public offering after consolidation of assets of JSC Terminal and Sheremetyevo have taken place.
At the beginning of this year it was said that Russian companies could not consider an IPO without involving the country's burgeoning investment bank VTB-Capital. Six months on and the gloss seems to have gone off the bank which has a major presence in London.
But Andrei Skvarsky, writing on EmergingMarkets.me in a curtain-raiser for a London Stock Exchange two-day investor conference yesterday, said "VTB Capital, the forefront underwriter of Russian debt and equity, is having a less than stellar year in bringing IPO's to market". VTB-Capital is one of the sponsors of the conference.
The operator of Domodedovo airport is seeking an initial public offering in London next month. Like the owners of other Russian companies, the Moscow airport’s shareholders want cash but also political and corporate stability.
“It is very obvious that the authorities do not want private shareholders in the airport business,” said Elena Sakhnova, transport analyst at VTB Capital.
The airport, Russia’s largest, plans to sell 20-25 percent of its stock for $1 billion in a private offering.
Tim Waterstone, the founder of the book stores that take his name, is poised for a dramatic come-back after his Russian commercial partner submitted a £43m bid for the business. Shares in the bookseller's owner, HMV, climbed 12.5% amid speculation that billionaire Alexander Mamut had put in a new offer in an attempt to clinch control of the 314 Waterstone's outlets in Britain and Ireland.
Waterstone and Mamut are partners in a Russian book retailer Bookberry.