Russian government auctions 25.5% stake in S7 Airlines

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Russia's government has re-affirmed that its controlling shareholding in Oneworld member S7 Airlines will undergo privatisation.

Alfa Bank, which has been appointed as the government agent for the sale of a 25.5% blocking stake in the carrier, will set the initial asking price at Rb1.12 billion ($36 million).

The package includes 26,126 common shares. Alfa Bank will accept bids from privately-owned legal entities until 18 April, before holding an auction on 25 April.

The company is a member of the S7 Group controlled by Vladislav Filev and his wife, who between them hold the title to 63.3% of privately-owned shares in S7 Airlines.

Along with its operational affiliate Globus, the carrier transported 8.3 million passengers in 2012, making it the country's fourth largest airline after Aeroflot, Transaero and UTair.

Two years ago, Russia's state property ministry called off an auction for the government's stake in S7 after it failed to attract investor interest. The starting price had been set at Rb1.87 million.