Moscow Sheremetyevo plans IPO

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Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport is to put its majority stake in Vladivostok International Airport to competitive tender.

The shareholding comprises 52% of the airport and 75% of its passenger terminal, which is undergoing modernisation ahead of the Asia Pacific summit, due to be held in the city in 2012.

Under the terms of the proposed tender, Sheremetyevo is looking for bidders with "a gainful experience in operating airports with an annual throughput of at least 1 million passengers".

Sheremetyevo's management has submitted the plan for approval by the Russian transport and economics ministries and is expected to invite tenders in August, with a view to determining a winning bidder in November.

Sources familiar with the matter said the starting price for the stake is tentatively set at Rb3.9 billion ($140 million) but, given the airport's debt obligations, purchasing it would cost about Rb7.5 billion.

Investment arms of industrial groups Renova and Basic Element are said to have signalled an interest in the bidding. Renova operates Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport, Basic Element manages a handful of airports in southern Russia, including Krasnodar and Sochi.