UAC set to gain Superjet support from bank deal

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Russia's Vnesheconombank is to provide financial support to United Aircraft via a capital infusion and debt-for-equity swap.

Industry and trade minister Denis Manturov says that state-owned VEB will increase its shareholding in lessor Ilyushin Finance by purchasing shares from UAC.

VEB already owns 21.4% of Ilyushin Finance, and UAC 48.8%. The remaining 25.8% is held by National Reserve Corporation.

United Aircraft will, says Manturov, spin off the non-core asset and use proceeds from the sale to fund the Superjet programme.

In a related move, VEB is to take an equity stake in Sukhoi. “In fact, there will be a debt-for-equity swap,” says Manturov. “As a result, Sukhoi would clear its debt stemming from bank borrowings.”

Sukhoi last year secured a $1 billion revolving credit line from VEB, but Manturov suggests that the proposed swap will be tantamount to having this facility terminated.

VEB governor Vladimir Dmitriev says its advisory board is considering taking a 33% stake either in Sukhoi as a whole or the manufacturer's civil aircraft division. Sukhoi's debts to VEB have been estimated at around $600 million.